Boost efforts to create halal ecosystem
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia should step out of its comfort zone to be competitive in the halal industry as others are catching up, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said although Halal Malaysia had made its mark globally, it needed to boost efforts to create a halal ecosystem at home and abroad.
He said Saudi Arabia, Japan, China and Cambodia were among countries that had sought Malaysia’s expertise to build their halal ecosystem.
“Halal Malaysia has made its presence felt internationally, but this must not lull us into complacency as countries like Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand are close to surpassing us,” Zahid said after chairing the first Halal Malaysia Council meeting here yesterday.
He said Malaysia would make the best of its strong ties with Saudi Arabia following the visit of King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud to develop halal products.
“It no longer focuses only on the oil and petroleum sector. The new economic strategy will be about developing halal products and goods.”
He said the council deliberated on the need to form a permanent secretariat to ensure the country’s national halal policy would be developed, coordinated and monitored in a holistic manner.
“The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will be the permanent secretariat for the council and Jakim’s halal hub division will be strengthened along with other agencies via the National Blue Ocean Strategy.”
Zahid said the council had deliberated on other halal-related initiatives, including the development of certification, standards, accreditation, laboratory testing services, research and development and developing the halal industry.
He said while Halal Malaysia provided consultation services to foreign countries, it would open an opportunity for Malaysia to share and reinforce its practices of moderation in Islam to others.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Halal Malaysia Council meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.