Helping Malaysian SMEs To Compete In The Local And International Halal Industry

Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, CEO, CIMB Islamic Bank

The story of the global pandemic is of course not over, but in Malaysia we are seeing more encouraging chapters being added as the Government’s measures to restart and boost the economy are beginning to show results. This follows concerted efforts in digital transformation from all economic sectors, and a highly focused implementation of the national vaccination programme.  Despite remaining adversities, the Malaysian economy has shown commendable resilience as it continued to grow by 7.1% in the first half of 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance. This places the nation in a position of strength to take advantage of emerging and reemerging opportunities both locally and globally. One area poised to further benefit is Halal business, supported by Malaysia’s strong infrastructure and entrenched status as a global Halal hub.

The global Islamic economy remains on a strong growth trajectory as it primarily serves a large and growing global Muslim population. As the world becomes more concerned with environmental impact, responsible business practices, quality assurance and wholesomeness, Halal products have become more relevant to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers.  Halal products now provide assurance of quality, hygiene and ethical ways of conducting business. Commonalities between the Halal and Green economies mean that they are slowly converging as well.

It is estimated that Muslims worldwide spent USD2.02 trillion in 2019 across the Halal food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel and media/recreation sectors. Halal spend is forecasted to reach USD2.4 trillion by 2024 at a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1%. In addition, Islamic finance assets were estimated to have reached USD2.88 trillion globally in 2019. The growth of the global Islamic economy presents businesses with tremendous opportunities for growth.

The Malaysian Government has set global standards for creating a successful Halal economy, from nurturing a robust Islamic banking and finance industry to providing holistic Halal certification standards and policies.

Through these efforts, including MATRADE’s world-class Halal trade exhibition, Malaysia tops the world – for the eighth year running – in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator Top 15 ranking in the State of the Global Islamic Economy report 2020/21. At the same time, collaboration between the public and private sectors is key in driving the continued growth of the Islamic economy.

MATRADE’s commitment towards developing the Halal Industry has been reflected through various initiatives. MATRADE has constantly raised the benchmark for players to do better year after year and has also highlighted the importance of growing the scale of MIHAS every year.

Additionally, with MATRADE’s 46 worldwide office strategically located in various countries, this enables local Halal Industry players to envision a more international outreach that can be guided with the help of the Ministry.

CIMB Islamic Bank has been an active partner of the MIHAS showcase for several years running, including last year as the MIHAS 2021 Diamond Sponsor. It is also leading an initiative to support Malaysian SMEs by enabling them to confidently compete in the Halal markets, both locally and internationally. CIMB Islamic Bank has introduced the CIMB Halal Corridor to the markets, an enhanced trade network linking halal businesses in ASEAN and across the globe. With ASEAN being home to the world’s largest Muslim population, CIMB Islamic Bank is able to assist businesses seeking to unlock the potential of the vibrant halal market via its ecosystem of partners, ranging from certification to supply, logistics as well as fulfillment providers across the value chain. 

CIMB HalalBizReady (HBR) is a proposition under the umbrella of the CIMB Halal Corridor. The HBR programme aims to support SMEs looking to grow their businesses in the global Halal markets through access to financing and training to facilitate JAKIM certification.  Post-certification, the HBR ecosystem provides access to different enablers for businesses that want to access the global Halal economy through exposure, and brand building via CIMB’s own and partner platforms, events, tradeshows and sponsored activities.  A comprehensive list of solutions is made available to SMEs, including Halal know-how and certification, consultant offerings, financing, e-commerce, human resource and cash solutions together with international exposure opportunities. The HBR is the complete package for SMEs to leverage as they grow their businesses going forward. 

To know more about the CIMB Halal Corridor, email them at [email protected]

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