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Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) international footprint manager Mohammad Shukur Sugumaran said Indian importers had expressed strong interest in sourcing for halal cosmetics and personal care products due to increasing awareness in using clean, organic, healthy and safe products, especially among the young. -- Bernama photo

BENGALURU: Malaysia’s halal products are in great demand in India.

Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) international footprint manager Mohammad Shukur Sugumaran said Indian importers had expressed strong interest in sourcing for halal cosmetics and personal care products due to increasing awareness in using clean, organic, healthy and safe products, especially among the young.

“The demand is huge now in India, and it is not only from the Muslims but also from the non-Muslims,” he said on the sidelines of the Global Halal India Expo 2019 here today.

Statistics from the HDC Halal Datawarehouse System showed that halal exports to India jumped 12 per cent to RM1.59 billion last year from RM1.43 billion in the previous year.

However, exports of halal cosmetics and personal care products slid to RM166 million from RM172.93 million in 2017.

Shukur, who met Indian importers at the three-day expo here, said Muslim fashion was also an emerging product that was on importers’ radar.

“I was informed that the younger generation of Muslims have become more interested in dressing up modestly like what is required by the religion, but staying modern at the same time,” he said.

Shukur said halal food and beverages also remained the top-picked products in the Indian market, despite the strict labelling regulations imposed by the country’s food regulatory body, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

“Many Malaysian F&B products such as Hup Seng crackers, Lingham’s chilli sauce and Miaow Miaow snacks are doing very well in India,” he noted.

Other halal items like chocolates, toiletries, baby products, women’s personal hygiene products, Muslim women’s sportswear and non-pigskin furniture are also in huge demand in the republic, he added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, HDC acting chief executive officer Hairol Ariffien Sahari said there were about 180 million Muslims in India, the second largest Muslim population after Indonesia.

“Coupled with the booming e-commerce industry in the country, Malaysian firms should really seize the opportunity to tap into one of the world’s most populous countries,” he said.

Citing statistics from a leading source of information on halal industries, Salaam Gateway, Hairol Ariffien said of the US$43 billion (about RM180 billion) worth of cosmetics sold in India in 2015, about US$4.2 billion (RM18 billion) comprised sales to the country’s 180 million Muslims.

“Halal-certified cosmetics were initially made to cater specifically to the Muslim community, but demand from non-Muslim consumers is also on the rise,” he said.

The second edition of the three-day Global Halal India Expo 2019, which ended today, attracted India’s trade commissions, Islamic chambers of commerce, importers, distributors, buyers and visitors as well as halal-related agencies and organisations. – Bernama

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