KUANTAN: Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) wants to increase in the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in the halal industry in Malaysia to 50,000 by 2030 with the aim of assisting these firms to get certified to venture into exports.
HDC's chief executive officer Hairol Ariffein Sahari said to date, only some 10,000 SMEs had secured the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) halal certification.
"HDC realised that from the 10,000 companies with halal certification, less than 3,000 are capable of producing products for export purposes. The low number of halal certification ownership among entrepreneurs in Malaysia has made it tough for them to seize business opportunities abroad.
"There are still some 190,000 non-certified halal SMEs in Malaysia and HDC has embarked on a mission to provide consultation services to help them submit their applications to Jakim. Our doors are open to companies to get the necessary advice before they go to submit their applications to Jakim. HDC will assist them to ensure a smooth process," he told reporters here today.
He was met after the closing ceremony for the Halal Malaysia tour programme here by Pahang Works, Transport and Health Committee chairman Datuk Seri Norol Azali Sulaiman, who represented Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
Meanwhile, Hairol Ariffein said obtaining halal certification will help SMEs to expand business opportunities and add more value to the company's operations.
When asked about the reason companies chose not to obtain the halal certification, he said entrepreneurs have the perception that the process of obtaining the certificate involves huge costs.
"The cost is between RM400 and RM500 but they might need to spend more in the process to ensure they qualify for the certificate. What I mean is they might need to upgrade their plant (factory), replace certain old utensils and their facilities to meet certain standards set by Jakim including carrying out necessary renovations.
"However, HDC's strategic partners, which include financial institutions, can assist by providing loans to help them. It is due to this stringent process that the halal certificates issued by Jakim are globally-recognised and acknowledged by countries abroad," he said.
Meanwhile, Norol Azali said Pahang was prepared to become an international halal food hub by utilising the Pahang Halal Park at the Gambang industrial area near here as the focal point.
"The halal food industry has a huge opportunity with Malaysia being a promising market due to the majority Muslim population. Entrepreneurs could make full use of the facilities provided at the park to expand their businesses," he said.