Sultan opens world halal expo
By M K Anwar

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to officiate the opening of the first ever International Halal Product Expo (IHPE) 2006 at the International Convention Centre, Berakas, in conjunction with the monarch's 60th birthday celebrations.

Also present during the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Abdul Azim, HRH Prince Abdul Malik, and HRH Prince Abdul Mateen.

Upon arrival, His Majesty and the royal entourage were welcomed by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Dato Awg Hj Adanan, Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Dato Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Dato Dr Awg Hj Ahmad, and Minister of Health Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi.

Themed "Going Global with Halal Products", the expo is an initiative of the country to become one of the leading players in the US$560 billion global halal industry.

His Majesty, in his message, said IHPE 2006 marks an important beginning for Brunei in its efforts to venture into the lucrative industry.

Meanwhile, the event's organising committee believes the Sultanate can act as a platform for major players in the halal industry to converge with the aim of attaining a beneficial outcome.

Later, His Majesty and other members of the royal family toured the booths that exhibit an assortment of halal products and services.

Among the foreign exhibitors include companies from Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The main objectives of the expo are to create awareness among the public on the commitment of the government in developing the halal industry, to promote the Brunei Premium Halal brand, to provide opportunities for foreign companies to invest in the country, and to encourage local entrepreneurs to venture into the halal industry. - Borneo Bulletin (8th Aug 2006)