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Halal industry poised to be nation’s strategic sector, says Azmin

Halal industry poised to be nation’s strategic sector, says Azmin

30 Jun 2021

Malaysia has the potential to be halal vaccine and medical devices’ production hub in the region, says minister

The halal industry has a role to play in executing the “exit strategy” from the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) said the pandemic has led to an increasing demand for quality healthcare, whereby Malaysia requires foreign direct investment (FDI) for the production of halal vaccine and medical equipment.

“Malaysia has the potential to be halal vaccine and medical devices’ production hub in the region,” he said during the memorandum of understanding signing between Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd for the development of Go Halal Fund yesterday.

The minister said the halal industry is among the new sources for economic growth in the country, while globally the halal market is expected to reach US$3 trillion (RM12.45 trillion) by 2030. The market will continue to expand as the demand for halal products and services increases.

Last year, the country recorded a total of RM31 billion for halal exports which exceeded the target of RM29 billion set under the first Halal Industry Master Plan.

“Due to its potential, the government wants to make the halal industry as a strategic industry to reach the objectives outlined under the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, therefore expanding the distribution of wealth among the people by boosting the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) among Bumiputeras,” he said.

The Go Halal Fund, which aims to assist SMEs in the country, has a portfolio size of RM100 million and provides financial assistance to those who want to participate in the halal training programmes organised by HDC.

It also finances the halal certification process and the cost of takaful contributions, as well as meets working capital requirements and business capital expenditure.

Azmin said the strategic collaboration between HDC and Bank Islam will spur economic transformation among the B40 (bottom 40%) and M40 (middle 40%) groups.

The government will provide incentives and comprehensive platforms to facilitate SMEs’ participation, business operations and growth, especially in building a conducive halal ecosystem.

“The halal industry has a strategic role in promoting the growth of SMEs. A total of 200,000 SMEs are directly involved in halal-related activities.

“As of December 2020, 6,727 SMEs have halal certificates. Of the total, only 1,507 SMEs are involved in exports. This shows that there is growth potential for the country’s halal industry.

“HDC has to take initiatives and provide an action plan to increase the participation of multinational corporations in the halal industry to upscale, as well as attract FDIs and halal supply chain,” he added.

The fund also provides total financing worth RM100,000 up to RM1 million for privately owned and partnership businesses, while RM100,000-RM3 million is given to “Sdn Bhd” businesses with a repayment period of seven years.

Bank Islam CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohammed said the fund also provides Credit Card-i Visa Infinite Business services that allow staff to get rewards while making payments for company’s expenses using credit cards.

“The reward earned can be used for the redemption of various gifts or channelled to Bank Islam’s public funding platform known as Sadaqa House,” he said.

To apply, interested entrepreneurs must be HDC members with an active business for a minimum of two years and have recorded profit for at least a year from the last two years of operation.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve