News From : DagangHalal.com (31 Jul 2009)
Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei’s small size and population could be an advantage for the country in pushing the national halal programme forward, especially in the establishment of halal industrial parks, said a halal business specialist.
There have been several attempts to develop halal industrial parks in the Southeast Asian region, but none of them are “really off the drawing board yet”. at least “not in any kind of realistic way”. Said Abdalhamid David Evans, a halal marketing consultant whose expertise has been enlisted by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources over the past several years to organise the annual International Halal Market Conference (IIIMC).
“You’ve got all the different states in Malaysia that want to be the one that has the halal park so they all end up competing with each other. So far none of them are getting developed, at least at not a good enough speed.” he said.
The other players in the region – Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines have all seen talks surface over the past few years but have yet to see implementation. “You can imagine in Indonesia that it is so big, there’s so going to be many competing agendas competing for money, political will, political support that the national halal agenda is likely to get delayed.” said Abdalhamid, who has extensively travelled around the region and the
“Technically, Brunei has the advantages because it will nor be competing domestically and it does not consist of different states with different projects that will be competing against each other.” Abdalhamid explained. “There’s the Brunei halal brand, there’s the Brunei halal standard, the agrotechnology park, and then there’s the joint-venture company that is going to be pushing all of this, so setting a unified plan should technically he easier than doing it in some other countries.”
However, the national halal programme would need to move at a more efficient speed if Brunei were to make full use of the advantages it has over other Southeast Asian countries and put forward a unified plan to establish a strong foothold in the international market.
The Sultanate is well on its way to make public its very first guideline for halal standards in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing in the upcoming IHMC next month, during which a joint-venture vehicle that will take the Brunei Halal Brand to the international market will he launched.
A blueprint for the planned Agro-Technology Park will also be unveiled during the two-day conference beginning Aug 1 at the International Convention Centre in berakas.
With three significant initiatives already set for unveiling two years after the Brunei government first embarked on a mission to launch its own Premium halal brand, the key for the country now is to step up the pace. Said Abdaihamid.
“It’s taken several years to get here, and you don’t really want to take several more years to get to step two. Speed and efficiency are going to be the key to establishing a strong position in the market,” said Abdalhamid.
The Sultanate is capable of being a role model on how to develop a halal industry in a country, he said, because for the country it is considered fardhu kifayah. it is a way of diversifying the economy, as well as building the WE sector.
No other country has really been quite as specific about why they doing halal he said.
Written by Hadi DP Mahmud
— Courtesy of The Brunei Times