By Zufazlin Baharuddin
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 -- The upcoming Budget 2021 should emphasise on efforts to produce more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in the halal industry, as well as facilitate them in obtaining halal certification and penetrating the export market.
Halal Development Corporation (HDC) chief executive officer Hairol Ariffein Sahari said the government, through the relevant agencies, needs to help SMEs that offer halal products and services find an easier way to get the halal certification.
So far this year, only about 7,000 of the 200,000 SMEs have acquired the halal certification, he said.
"The government needs to work with agencies such as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and Department of Standards Malaysia, as well as the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to find solutions on the halal certification process and how to make it more industry-friendly," he told Bernama when commenting on his expectations from Budget 2021 to be tabled on Nov 6, 2020.
Hairol said the global halal products and services market is worth US$3.1 trillion (US$1=RM4.15) with Malaysia registering an export value of US$10 billion in 2019.
"If more SMEs have halal certificates, they will definitely be able to further increase the export market, as well as make them successful industry players," he said.
Last year, RM10 million was provided to the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) under Budget 2020 for advisory services and awareness campaign on halal certification, development of halal products and the setting up of a platform for market participants to compete in the international halal market.
Hairol also emphasised on the need to boost human capital and manpower in the halal industry in the budget.
"Only about 20,000 individuals were trained in the management of the halal industry through various programmes related to the halal industry such as biotechnology, food technology and biomedical.
"Their expertise is needed as they play a role in providing services to improve halal integrity along the supply chain that helps the growth of the halal ecosystem as a whole," he said, adding that it also provides them with good job opportunities, as well as the opportunity to serve halal companies abroad.
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