KUALA LUMPUR: The 15th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2018, organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), yet again proved to be a major catalyst in growing halal trade in Malaysia as well as internationally.
The event, which took place from 4-7 April 2018 was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC). A total of RM1.52 billion sales were recorded, compared to RM1.01 billion registered last year.
The sales were from the event’s two main components – exhibition and business matching programme called International Sourcing Programme (INSP). Sales from the exhibition component recorded an increase of 29 per cent to RM914.57 million compared to RM708.82 million in 2017, while the INSP generated sales of RM602.45 million, an increase of 99.5 per cent compared to RM301.99 million in 2017.
The top performing sectors at MIHAS 2018 exhibition were prepared food (RM407.20 million or 44.5% share of total sales), beverages (RM129.3 million or 14.1% share), pharmaceuticals, toiletries & cosmetics (RM108.04 million or 11.8% share), agricultural produce (RM68.53 million or 7.5% share) and machinery & equipment (RM41.58 million or 4.6% share). The iconic event focused on seven key product and services clusters namely food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, finance, tourism, e-Commerce and logistics.
The exhibition has attracted 778 exhibitors from 32 countries, and witnessed first-time participation from Cambodia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Throughout the 4-day exhibition, MIHAS 2018 received over 21,000 visitors comprising local and international companies, associations, foreign delegation and others.
The INSP, held on 3 April 2018, attracted more than 182 prospective foreign buyers from 39 countries. During the event, a total of 2,094 business meetings were arranged between the international buyers and 428 Malaysian exporters. Among the top countries with the highest export sales for Malaysian companies at the INSP were China (RM310.46 million or 51.5% share of total sales), India (RM75.61 million or 12.6% share), Poland (RM71.34 million or 11.8% share), Thailand (RM21.70 million or 3.6% share) and the United States (RM20.13 million or 3.3% share).
According to YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, MIHAS is not just an event, but a platform for the Halal industry, which has now been gaining strong momentum from the past decade. “The organisation of MIHAS is important in driving not only Malaysia’s, but the world’s Halal industry to greater heights. With Malaysia’s conducive Islamic economic landscape, MIHAS has become a marketplace for local and foreign businesses to thrive in the Halal trade and to contribute significantly to the global Halal economy,” he said.
MIHAS Awards were also featured this year to provide recognition to companies who innovate and inject creativity into their product development. A total of 12 awards were given out during MIHAS Awards 2018, as a form of appreciation for the efforts made by MIHAS’ participants in showcasing their Halal products and services. Among the winners were PS Food & Beverage Sdn Bhd (Gold Award for Most Innovative F&B Product), Phytes Biotek Sdn Bhd (Gold Award for Most Innovative Non-Food & Services), Umrahloka Sdn Bhd (Gold Award for Best Malaysian Booth Design & Presentation) and Takex Co. Ltd (Gold Award for Best International Booth Design & Presentation). Palestine pavilion won the best country pavilion award.
MIHAS 2018 also introduced few series of programmes including seminars and conferences that were held concurrently with the exhibition. Among the programmes were organised in partnership with organisations such as Bioeconomy Corporation, Thomson Reuters, Association of Islamic Banks Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Majlis Amarah Rakyat (MARA), iHALALMAS and CrescentRating. Some of the key programmes include MATRADE Trade Talk, MyPitch@MIHAS, Symposium on Halal Gelatin Ecosystem, Halal Trade Finance Conference, IMHalal Conference and Halal in Travel Conference.
According to Ir. Dr. Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE, these programmes are part of MATRADE’s efforts to establish an element of thought leadership for Malaysian companies in regards to all matters related to the global halal economy. “We take a holistic view in regards to MIHAS 2018. It is a platform for not only