KUALA LUMPUR: The government's strong and continued partnership with Alibaba Group will benefit the domestic halal industry, specifically the small and medium enterprises (SME).
Expressing positive sentiment of the sector's growth, QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd Shariah and Halal compliance department general manager Mohd Roslan Mohd Saludin said pulling out of partnership deal with the global e-commerce giant would only impede Malaysia's halal industry growth.
"Halal industry should come first before any political emotions," he said in an interview recently.
Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamed's recent meeting with Alibaba Group co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma has signalled the e-commerce giant's grand plans for Malaysia to continue.
Alibaba is in the midst of a massive investment push in Malaysia with the establishment of Digital Free Trade Zone.
Roslan said the evolution of technology has made it easier for SMEs to export but Malaysia is still far behind in establishing the platform that has extensive networks with buyers around the world.
Therefore, with Alibaba's partnership, he said its trading features and established branding will help so much in taking the place of traditional outreach methods for Malaysian SMEs to get in touch with buyers overseas more effectively.
"It (the partnership) will not just boost Halal exports but also helps develop the industry as a whole including the regulatory, logistics and product quality areas as the industry grows," he said.
Roslan has vast experience in halal industry. With his years 12 years career in the industry, he has been invited to share his expertise at numerous conferences, seminars and national television.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian International Food and Beverage (MIFB) trade returns this year from June 27th to 29th with a special segment - Halal Food - and more than 20,000 visitors expected to attend the annual event.
Organiser of the trade fair, Sphere Exhibits Malaysia international sales project director Henri Tan said the event is aimed at setting a clear direction for SMEs to propel in business, showcase the future of food business as well as position Malaysia as the prime food hub.
"Over the past 18 years, the annual trade fair has gathered food & beverage (F&B) industry players from different parts of the world to Malaysia, introducing new offerings and solutions to the F&B fraternity.
"On top of the usual F&B (Natural & Healthy Produce), Food Technology and Seafood & Fishery segments this year, Sphere is introducing a special segment onto the exhibition floor Halal Food, in helping to make Malaysia the International Halal Hub for F&B businesses," he said.
Tan said the added Halal Food segment is specially designed for halal producers, traders and business leaders sourcing for products and looking to expand their business in this area.
“Malaysia will play well as the host of this added segment with proper Halal ecosystem, proactive policies as well as the framework in place to develop the industry," he said adding that QSR Brands will be one of the exhibitors.
Tan expects 20,000 trade visitors, higher than 19,000 recorded last year to participate in the event with some 1,500 local and international buyers.
This includes exhibitors from China, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Philippines, he added.
Source: (News Straits Times, 25 June 2018)