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Prime Minister Officiates MIHAS 2022 And MATRADE Digital Learning (MDL) Platform

Prime Minister

The 18th edition of the MIHAS 2022, which was launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Datuk  Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob today, strongly reflected this growing trend. Malaysian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are increasingly leveraging on platforms such as Malaysia International Halal  Showcase (MIHAS) to access the growing opportunities in the global halal market. MIHAS 2022, which is taking place at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) runs from 7 -10  September 2022. 

According to the CEO of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)  Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, there has been a significant rise in the number of Malaysian exhibitors including MSMEs participating in MIHAS since it was first organized in 2004. ‘For example, this year there was a year-on-year rise of 326.4 percent of local exhibitors participating in MIHAS 2022,’ he said, adding that most of these local exhibitors were MSMEs. Furthermore, many were also relatively younger entrepreneurs. A case in point is the profile of exhibitors in the Pahang State pavilion whereby all 15 exhibitors were less than 45 years old.  

Other than the Prime Minister, YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong that is Deputy Minister, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) also is confident that these and other programs that MATRADE has carried out over the years have and will continue to assist more Halal-certified Malaysian companies to access the growing global Halal markets. For example, the Halal market in the ASEAN region alone is estimated to be worth US$900 billion, demonstrating the potential market share that Malaysian companies can gain as producers of Halal products and services.

Currently, more than 8,000 companies in Malaysia are recognized and certified as Halal by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). However, it is estimated only 20 percent are currently exporting. According to the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), SMEs are expected to contribute 45 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and 25 percent to total exports by 2025. 

Pegged as the world’s largest Halal trade event, MIHAS 2022 which carries the theme  ‘Diversifying Halal Possibilities’ is on target to achieve RM1.9 billion in sales and as such play its part in supporting the 12MP export target by increasing the number of Malaysian MSMEs expanding their footprint into the global halal market. 

The transformation of MSMEs in becoming more conscious of export opportunities can be attributed to various factors, including the different types of programs that MATRADE has organized over the years such as MIHAS. ‘We are constantly innovating to keep up with the  growing trends and expectations. For example, last year MATRADE was organized in a  completely virtual mode. This year it was organized in a hybrid mode,’ pointed out Datuk Mohd  Mustafa Abdul Aziz. The approach enables cross-border trade deals to continue between local exporters and international buyers with flexibility, in spite of geographic and time zone differences. 

MATRADE’s constant use of new innovative methods such as virtual business matchings as well as International Sourcing Programmes (INSP) have all played their part to spur the increasing number of Malaysian MSMEs exploring the global Halal market. 

Mirroring the nation’s digitalization agenda in the trade sphere, the Prime Minister also launched the MATRADE Digital Learning (MDL) right after officiating MIHAS 2022. MDL is a virtual learning platform dedicated to improving the knowledge and skills of Malaysian companies by providing them with holistic content on export-related topics. The content for  MDL was developed partly through a collaboration with Google Malaysia and contains 13  highly industry-relevant modules. 

The 18th edition of MIHAS is supported by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC). It highlights 13 halal clusters including food and beverage, services & enablers, cosmetics, and personal care, modest fashion, food technology, pharmaceuticals, media and recreation, e-commerce, Islamic finance, Muslim-friendly travel, franchise, education, and MIHAS’s newest cluster to be introduced this year, Islamic arts and crafts. 

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