PETALING JAYA: The 19th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas 2023), the world’s largest halal industry exhibition – hosted by the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry and organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) – recorded RM3.11 billion in sales.

The amount exceeded its target of RM2.5 billion by 24%, underscoring the event’s significance as a premier global trade platform for the halal industry.

Mihas 2023 took place from Sept 11 to 15 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Sales were contributed by business deals concluded from two key programmes – the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) on Sept 11 for Malaysian exporters and the signature trade exhibition involving exhibitors from 44 countries between Sept 12 and 15.

The showcase’s focus on elements of sustainability and digitalisation enhanced its value to the global halal community by facilitating and accelerating the mainstreaming of the halal ecosystem into global supply chains.

Preliminary calculations showed that INSP – Matrade’s flagship programme – achieved sales worth RM1.22 billion, while exhibitors garnered total sales of RM1.89 billion. These preliminary sales figures could potentially increase as the virtual INSP business matching lasts until Nov 30.

The exhibition covered 13 halal segments and the business matching involved companies in all sectors, opening market access for Malaysian companies in some of the largest supermarket chains in the world including Walmart, Aldi, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Guardian, Sainsbury and Woolworths. It also provided access to Malaysian companies to global markets where Malaysia currently does not have strong presence, such as Romania, Poland and Morocco.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Malaysia’s Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 targets a contribution of RM266 billion, or 11% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product by 2030.

To achieve this, he added, they will continue to build on the momentum generated by Mihas 2023, particularly in facilitating market access for halal industry players to major supply chains globally.

“The commendable RM3.11 billion sales achievement, which surpassed our target by 24%, proves that Mihas is still the premier global halal platform,” he said, adding that, most importantly, in line with the New Industrial Master Plan 2030’s economic security and inclusivity agenda, platforms like Mihas also contribute significantly to the government’s objective of internationalising micro, small and medium enterprises and strengthening Malaysia’s position as the halal hub in Asia.

“We are committed to promoting sustainable growth and ensuring that the halal industry continues to thrive in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner,” said Tengku Zafrul.

He added that this achievement was also due to the leadership shown by Matrade chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican and CEO Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, as well as the tireless and relentless effort by everyone at Matrade including their staff at Matrade’s 46 overseas offices.

Reezal Merican said Mihas 2023 placed due emphasis on collaboration on all fronts. “For example, more than 30 MoUs were exchanged between Malaysian and foreign organisations throughout Mihas. Matrade expended considerable effort to engage other government organisations, resulting in the participation of 34 Federal and state agencies in this year’s MIihas.”

He said more than 800 exhibitors have already expressed their interest in participating in Mihas 2024 scheduled for Sept 17-20, proving its key role in advancing and elevating the global halal industry.