Johor jockeying for position to be a key player in the global Halal market estimated to be worth 2.3 Trillion
The business forum “Invest in Halal Industry Johor” that occurred on the 4th of July 2019 was jointly hosted by Iskandar Halal Park (IHP), a subsidiary of UMLand Bhd, Senai Airport City Sdn Bhd (SAC), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Johor Branch and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) as a way to attract investors and strengthen multilateral ties to the newly established Iskandar Halal Park in Johor in an effort to establish a regional hub for Halal products.
Shahzul Jayawirawan, Director of Malaysia Investment Development Authority Johor (MIDA) outlines the Johor State economy to have an emphasis on the “3H” based economy which entails “High Technology, High Value and Halal Industries” and that manufacturing has been and will continue to be a key pillar of the Malaysian economy. He added that, “Since 2013, Johor has become the highest recipient of approved investments in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia for six consecutive years”.
The Halal industry includes three main market segments of food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics and it has reached an estimated 1.8 billion consumers in 2017 and is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2030.
For prospective foreign investors such as France, “Halal is a certification of quality control”, says key-note speaker International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee Chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse drawing upon his recent visit to France and their expressed interest in Halal products urging people to change their perception of the Halal label.
Ahmad Lokman bin Ibrahim, CEO of IHP also voiced out that Taiwan has gotten their Halal certification for bubble tea to better penetrate the market.
Highlighted in the forum were the various developments the Johor region may provide, such as the necessary infrastructure to assist local or foreign SMEs and bigger corporations with manufacturing, certification, fundamental wastewater management, transportation ports strategically situated around SAC and IHP alongside investment rebates by MIDA to further provide prospective investors with the necessary support required.
Illuminated by a shining example of Hershey’s largest chocolate factory outside of North America situated in SAC, and the confidence given by Jimmy Puah, the Chairman of SMF Packaging Council Singapore, Betty Tan lauded that this could be an era of opportunity to both companies and individuals to tap on the infrastructure to capitalise on a market worth USD 2.3 Trillion and she looks forward to improve ties between the two countries.