KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Malaysia plans to introduce premium halal food gifts to boost tourism and enhance the country’s reputation in the global halal food industry, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said today.
Nazri said the concept was unique as it meant tapping into the international sale of food gifts, which is expected to grow to US$73 billion (RM284.69 billion) by 2020.
“Premium halal food gifts can be given as presents to overseas friends and associates, and its shelf-stability means it does not need refrigeration and can last longer in room temperature,” he said during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Seni Teknologi Sdn Bhd and KDU University College.
Under the memorandum, KDU’s students will participate in Seni Teknologi’s efforts to collaborate with halal food manufacturers in terms of improving the food gifts’ aesthetic appeal, creating brand names and market awareness.
Given Malaysia’s status as a progressive Muslim nation and the first in the world with a documented and systemic halal assurance system developed by the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), Nazri said now is the time to introduce a Halal Food Marketplace (HalalFood) programme so that overseas buyers can easily purchase Jakim-certified products from Malaysian companies.
“HalalFood works with Malaysian companies and Jakim in listing appropriate certified food items on the marketplace. The companies will also be carefully scrutinised to ensure they comply with Jakim’s and international standards. To date, some 30 suppliers with over 1,000 food items have already been listed.
“If the programme is successful, it will further enhance the country’s standing in the global halal food industry. Additionally it can further stimulate the tourism sector, support domestic companies in penetrating the international market, and provide opportunities to the future generation of Malaysians,” he said.
Also present at the signing was Seni Teknologi’s director Syed Hassan Syed Alwi and KDU’s chief marketing officer Sheikh Fahmy Sheikh Mohamed.