KUALA LUMPUR – The global halal industry’s eyes are on Malaysia, as World Halal Week 2018 takes place in the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.
The opening ceremony of World Halal Week 2018 was held Wednesday, stressing the aim of bringing halal brands around the globe together and gather insight, under the concept of “Building for the Future.”
Halal, meaning “permissible” in Arabic, refer to what can be permitted in Islam. It can apply to any aspect of life, including food and beverages, finance, cosmetics, tourism, logistics and pharmaceuticals.
Visitors look at halal products on display Wednesday at the Starbucks Malaysia booth at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. / Photo by Im Eun-byel / The Korea Herald
At the opening ceremony held at the Mandarin Hotel, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Ahmad Zahid Hamidi emphasized the need to adhere to Islamic principles. “Money matters. But let’s not forget about the principles of Al-Quran,” he said, referring to the Islamic holy book.
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks during the opening ceremony of World Halal Week at Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday. / Photo by Im Eun-byel / The Korea Herald
The deputy prime minister stressed the importance of the expanding market in East Asia, saying, “There is an increasing demand for halal around the globe. East Asia is jumping on the bandwagon and opening their markets for halal -- China, Japan and Korea.”
While the opening ceremony was being held, various halal brands from around the globe showcased their products and services as part of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center.
Malaysia International Halal Showcase / Photo by Im Eun-byel / The Korea Herald
The showcase, organized by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, takes place from Wednesday to Saturday, along with Malaysia International Halal Assembly and the World Halal Conference.
This year’s MIHAS contains 1,100 booths representing 800 companies from 43 countries. The organizers expect some 22,000 trade visitors to attend the showcase. As it is more of an industry event, it will accept public visitors only on Saturday.
Around 30 Korean brands are participating in the showcase, including Samyang Foods, famous for its Samyang Hot Chicken Ramen. Certified as a halal product, the ramen has enjoyed high sales in Muslim nations.
Korean halal businesses showcase their products at the Korean Pavilion at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center on Wednesday. / Photo by Im Eun-byel / The Korea Herald
Various Korean companies from the cosmetics, snacks and beverages sectors have showcased their halal-certified products to the Malaysian market. Numerous buyers from Korea were also on the scene to search for new business partners.
“We are here to see if there are any local halal brands that would be competitive in the Korean halal market,” Kim Jae-hong, CEO of Halal Korea, told The Korea Herald. Kim works on linking Malaysian companies to Korea, offering them new business opportunities.
“The (global) Muslim population is enormous, even though there might not be so many in Korea at the moment. The industry has the potential to grow,” Kim said.
By Im Eun-byel
The Korea Herald Correspondent (firstname.lastname@example.org)