News From : DagangHalal.com (15 May 2009)
The Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation (SMIDEC) approved RM15.05 million as of March 31 this year for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the halal industry.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the funds, given through grants for the development and promotion of halal products, involved 253 applications.
Out of these, 165 were applications from Bumiputera entrepreneurs who received RM10.88 million.
“About 60 percent of the applications were for the promotion of halal products, 20 percent for the upgrading of premises in compliance with halal certification and another 20 percent for the development of halal products,” Mukhriz said when launching a seminar here today for Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal industry.
Mukhriz said the government was very committed to developing the industry, adding that as of March 31, a total of 418 workers from the SME sector had gone through various trainings related to halal business. The programmes were carried out through the Development Skills Centre involving RM220,000 in expenditure.
He also urged Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the industry to be directly involved in the industry as the opportunities in the halal sector went beyond the domestic market.
The annual value of the global halal trade has amounted to RM7.4 trillion while the global Muslim population is 1.6 bilion, he said, adding that Bumiputera entrepreneurs should take up the challenge to develop the industry.
Mukhriz said that while his ministry had no fixed target for increasing the number of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal industry, it should not be an excuse for them not to succeed in the industry.
“It is sad to see that the main producers of meat are countries like Brazil, US, Argentina and China, and indeed in South East Asia, Thailand has already built its name as a producer of halal food products,” he said.
“In Malaysia, Bumiputera entrepreneurs are still lagging compared with the non-Bumiputeras…only 423 halal certification applications were received by the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) as of April 30 from a total applications of 1,686,” he said.