KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) expects the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2018 sales to surpass last year's RM1.01 billion by between five and seven per cent.
MIHAS 2018, the 15th edition of the halal global trade, will be held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) from April 4-7.
MATRADE Chief Executive Officer Dr Ir Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said to date about 90 per cent of the 1,100 booths had been taken up by exhibitors, of them, 55 per cent were locals, while the remaining 45 per cent were foreign participants from over 30 countries.
He said Thai exhibitors topped the list with 51 booths, followed by Indonesia (48) , Iran (40) , Taiwan (39) and China (35), mostly in the food and beverage industry.
"The food and beverage (F&B) industry is expected to dominate MIHAS 2018, while other exhibitors are from the services, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and banking sectors," he told Bernama during a visit to the news agency's headquarters here today.
Mohd Shahreen said likewise, last year´s MIHAS was also dominated by the F&B industry at 68 per cent, followed by services (22 per cent) and non-food sector (10 per cent).
On last year's sales, he said the transactions of fast consumer moving goods were done during the showcase, while that of services were mostly closed past the event, hence, the MIHAS derivation value was far better than what was registered.
China has always been the top buyer over the past few years, he added.
He said an International Sourcing Programme (INSP) would be held on April 3 in conjunction with MIHAS 2018, with 217 foreign companies expected to take advantage of business-matching meetings.
Mohd Shahreen said in 2017, INSP generated about RM300 million out of 2,064 pre-arranged business meetings, involving 475 Malaysian companies and 172 foreign buyers from 44 countries, contributing about 30 per cent to last year's total sales.
The composition of the sales this year is expected to remain the same as last year's, he added.
Besides moving to a new venue, he said MIHAS 2018 would feature several new events, including the Halal Trade Finance Conference in collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia and the Association of Islamic Banking Institution, Halal in Travel Seminar jointly with CrescentRating and Mastercard, and My PITCH@MIHAS in partnership with Bioeconomy Corporation.