MIHAS 2021 Continues to Support Halal Sectors in Malaysia

The halal industry is rapidly growing across the globe. Rather excitingly, Malaysia is a major player within the industry and looks set to further strengthen its position in the coming years.

According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/2021,Malaysia is ranked 1st in the sectors of Halal Food, Muslim-Friendly Travel, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Malaysia’s strong performance in these sectors along with being a top Muslim-friendly destination among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries augurs well for the nation’s economic revival post-pandemic.

Key areas for growth

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) hopes to spearhead the country’s efforts in the halal industry. The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), which recently concluded its 17th edition in December 2021 is one of the key pioneering projects that MATRADE has initiated towards realising this aim.

Themed ‘Empowering Halal, Tomorrow, Together’ and with the aim of positioning Malaysia as the world’s main halal hub, MIHAS 2021 prevailed in its efforts, as testified by the strong performance by all the exhibitors especially Malaysian exporters.

MATRADE identified twelve key pillars that collectively can represent the global halal industry, all of which were showcased at the event. The event connected fellow exhibitors with local and international manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and agents as well as event visitors and members of the public.

The 12 pillars showcased were:

  • food and beverage
  • education
  • pharmaceuticals
  • services and enablers
  • franchise
  • modest fashion
  • Islamic finance
  • cosmetics and personal care
  • media and recreation
  • Muslim friendly travel
  • e-commerce and
  • food technology

According to the SGIE report cited earlier, approximately 1.9 billion Muslims spent a total of US$ 2.02 trillion in 2019 on the five sectors of food, fashion, pharmaceutical, media/recreation, and travel.

Halal Food & Beverage

The department of statistics Malaysia & JAKIM estimates Malaysia’s halal F&B sector export value increased by 10.4% from the previous year to RM22.0 billion in 2019. This is largely due to the strength of the Malaysia’s processed food sector, which continues to expand and strengthen its manufacturing capabilities, producing products that are attuned to global standards.

Food Technology

The 2021 Budget recently covered various initiatives that focused on technology deployment and enhancement in the halal industry. Some of the areas that are given focus on including the technology required to ensure food traceability to verify authenticity of the products, including its ingredients to ensure authenticity of the halal food and beverage.

Technologies such as serialisation, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology along with food science are being used as part of the Malaysian government’s policy to be globally competitive.

Modest Fashion

Modest or Islamic fashion is no longer just a movement but a billion-dollar industry that has gone global. According to the SGIE report, this sector currently has a value of US$277 billion.

MATRADE has been an instrumental figure behind the scenes in the modest fashion industry by regularly promoting homegrown businesses and connecting them to potential buyers and fashion designers globally. It also facilitates the participation of Malaysian fashion designers in industry events such as Fashion Weeks to grow brand awareness and develop market access.

Cosmetics & Personal Care

The halal cosmetics and personal care sector in Malaysia is gaining strong traction amongst global industry players and consumers. Halal cosmetics and personal care products are also sought after by non-Muslims, as many seek natural, chemical-free, and safe products.

Malaysia is alsoranked first in the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals sector, according to the SGIE report. With the halal cosmetics and personal care sector in Malaysia showing prospective potential, many more Malaysian SMEs are emerging and making a name for themselves in the market.


Modern medicine may contain ingredients that are non-halal or manufactured in a way that does not align with Islamic values. This situation opens a multitude of doors for the halal pharmaceutical industry.

Malaysia is the trailblazer in the certified halal pharmaceutical industry and with MIHAS 2021 serving as a platform that connects the nation to the world, greater opportunity arises for Malaysian pharmaceutical manufacturers to be more competitive internationally.

Muslim-Friendly Travel

Malaysia is ranked first in the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021.

Taking full advantage of this is the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) that collaborated with MIHAS 2021 to organise a forum on Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality. The forumpresented keynote speeches, interactive panel discussions, and specialist presentations that explore the potentials to emerge in the Muslim travel market as well as perspectives from industry leaders.

Among the 12 pillars, sectors that recorded the highest total sales during the virtual exhibition were Islamic financial services, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics and personal care. MATRADE aims for MIHAS 2021 to achieve more revenue and exposure by integrating a hybrid format of both physical and virtual configuration.

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