Kuala Lumpur (OIC-UNA) � Malaysia has announced that it will introduce "International Halal Awards" from next year to reward outstanding global halal certification institutions and halal production companies, Borneo Post reported.
The announcement was made by Hafsah Hashim, the CEO of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Corporation Malaysia, during a press conference on the sidelines of the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), held in Kuching, the Malaysian State of Sarawak, on November 21-23.
The award program is a joint initiative by SME Corporation, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and Serunai Commerce Sdn Bhd company.
The awards will be given to international halal-certifying bodies and halal production companies, as an effort to promote and grow the halal industry as well as to contribute to the global halal economy, Hafsah said.
This award program will be held annually with the mission to promote and support the growth of the halal industry and the benefits of halal certification for globally distributed goods and services, she stated, adding that the awards would represent the industrial shift toward becoming more consumer-centric and also recognize the brands and initiatives that would further spur the halal industry.
Meanwhile, Hafsah disclosed that investments in the Malaysian halal industry stood at $3 billion in 2016, having created 11,000 new job opportunities and contributing to halal food exports worth over $10 billion. She added that with growth projections being maintained at 20 percent year-on-year since 2012, the potential of the halal economy has remained 'unequalled'.
The CEO of SME Corporation went on to say: Malaysia has invested heavily and proactively over the years to boost what is recognized today as one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in the world � representing a huge proportion of global trade with a current market value of $6.4 trillion.
In his remarks, Director of JAKIM Halal Hub Division Dr. Sirajuddin Suhaimee said over the past several years, the department had been engaging certification bodies from around the world in order to widen the access for acceptance of Malaysia's halal certification regulations.
We can confidently say that the Malaysian halal standards stand as a global benchmark for excellence.
The International Halal Awards are really a natural extension of JAKIM's global standing in the industry as we use it to highlight and reward those who go above and beyond when it comes to halal-compliance, innovation, excellence, integrity, transparency, academia and technology, he said.
Source: International Islamic News Agency