ZIMBABWE plans to leverage on Malaysia’s strategic position to tap into the US$3 trillion halal global market.
Halal refers to behaviour or an action that is considered permissible in Islam.
A halal market provides halal foods, which are produced following rules permitted by Islam and the Halal Food Authority.
Goods traded in halal markets, include halal meats and other foodstuffs prepared under halal principles, with halal meats only permitted to be sold from certified butcheries and supermarkets.
Malaysia is the world's 43rd most populous economy, with a booming halal market estimated at about US$68,4 billion in 2018.
In an interview this week, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Malaysia, Constance Chemwayi said demand for halal products was booming globally, and countries like Zimbabwe can ride on this success to bolster export earnings.
Chemwayi spoke to businessdigest on the side-lines of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS 2023), which kicked off on Tuesday and ends today.
“Our presence at the 19th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase is in line with the country’s goals of opening new markets for our products,” she said.
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“Our main aim is to make Malaysia a gateway to accessing the US$3 trillion halal global market with only 20% of the demand being meat.”
ZimTrade, the country’s export trade promotion body, has a stand at the exhibition where four Zimbabwean firms are among those showcasing their products.
The companies are exhibiting horticultural produce like chillies, macadamia nuts, beans, peas, teas, coffees, herbal products and the popular beverage, Mazoe.
“Malaysia’s halal market was worth US$68,4 billion in 2018. It is projected to increase to US$113, 2 billion in 2030,” Chemwayi said.
The Zimbabwean diplomat added that being halal compliant did not only mean products must adhere to Islamic law.
She said it also compels producers to manufacture products that are safe to consume or apply, in line with globally acceptable standards and principles.
“Technically, halal is not an industry, it is a value proposition that exists within key elements of the supply chain of the intersecting industry sectors like processed food and beverages, ingredients for food and non-food, meat and meat-based products, drugs and supplements, cosmetics and personal care and warehousing and handling,” Chemwayi said.
She said MIHAS is a robust market place for Zimbabwean players to seize opportunities beyond halal foods, including halal pharmaceutical devices, personal care products and cosmetics and even Muslim-friendly tourism.
Graced by 470 buyers and 40 countries, the exhibition is highlighting the latest trends, technologies, and innovations across 13 major halal industry clusters.
These clusters include food and beverage, food technology and packaging, e-commerce, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals and medicals, modest fashion and lifestyle, education, Islamic finance and fintech, retail and franchise, services and enablers, Muslim-friendly hospitality and tourism, media and recreation, and Islamic arts and crafts.
The 19th MIHAS placed special emphasis on the agenda of helping Malaysian and international players look to innovation and sustainable initiatives to spearhead steady growth for the halal economy.
The showcase was not limited to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region alone, but was also supported internationally by countries across the globe.
“It is our hope that through participating at such a big fair in the South East Asian region, Zimbabwean products that meet global high standards will find a share in this halal global market,” Chemwayi said.
“Zimbabwe has the capacity to supply horticultural produce and related processed foods, which are unique and have rich natural flavours that suit the current global consumer patterns.
“Our participation gives us the opportunity to connect to the right business in the halal ecosystems and supply chain, gain knowledge from the halal industry captains and enhance networking opportunities.
“It also gives us an opportunity to promote Zimbabwe as a reliable and competitive sourcing and business destination for our manufactured goods, horticultural products, and value-added services that meet the halal standards,” she added.
The showcase, which started on Tuesday, ends today.
It ran under the theme: Paving the Way of Halal.