Brunei halal industry ready to go global
By Kartika Rahman

Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources under the leadership and guidance of its minister and deputy minister is working closely with the Islamic Religious Council of Brunei Darussalam, Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health to develop halal standards, guidelines and procedures in an effort to build Brunei's strength in venturing into the global halal market.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, said this in his welcoming address at a two-day seminar held during the International Halal Products Expo (IHPE) 2006.

Launched by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the nation has made its mark in the international halal market by hosting and organising the first ever IHPE 2006 from August 7 to 11 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), with the theme "Going Global With Halal Products".

Dato Haji Mohd Hamid said the seminar is about increasing awareness on opportunities in the global halal market and what 'halal' is as well as awareness about some of the good work that have been done to strengthen the halal standards and their compliances.

Stressing on the importance of developing standards, guidelines and procedures, the permanent secretary said: "To ensure sustainability, we can develop these standards in such a way that they are cost-effective and efficient, with no or just little cost for the producers."

About 300 participants from both international and local industries dealing with different aspects of halal rights application, including food producers, manufacturers and retailers and those from the transportation, storage, logistics, banking and financial sectors as well as government agencies, are attending the seminar.

Topics presented during the span of the seminar include Brunei Halal Market Overview, Market Potential and Investment Opportunities for Halal Products, Halal Certification and Processes, Halal Science and Logistics, and Islamic Banking and Finance.

"Brunei is just starting to initiate the setting up of its own Halal Premium Brand Standard Application in an effort to promote itself in the halal industry worldwide. This will give Brunei Darussalam a competitive edge to position itself as one of the serious players in the global halal map," said MIPR in a press release.

The seminar is set to become a platform for both local and international industry players, experts, specialists and government agencies to share their views, knowledge, expertise and experience on managing and profiting from the multi-billion dollar halal industry. - Borneo Bulletin (9th Aug 2006)