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MIHAS 2017 attracted thousands of Halal exhibitors and buyers HALALEVENTS

(Kualalumpur-News Halal- Rajab 11,1438H) World-renowned Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) opened its doors for the 14th time since its inception in 2004, bringing together global Halal brands and congregating industry players from around the world. Organized by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) under the patronage of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, the event was officially launched by YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur (KLCC).

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Also present at the ceremony were YB Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry; YB Dato' Dr Noraini Ahmad, Chairman of MATRADE; YBrs Ir Dr. Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, CEO of MATRADE; local and foreign government officials; local and international media; business and trade associations as well as many others.

MIHAS, tagged as the world's largest Halal trade show, started from 5 to 8 April 2017 and aims to provide a platform for Malaysian and international companies in the Halal industry to forge trade relations and exchange knowledge in business and product innovation.

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MIHAS 2017, through its exhibition component, is set to highlight various segments within the global Halal industry supply chain in particular 4 main clusters - Food (ready-to-eat meals, sauces, paste and beverages); Non-Food (cosmetics and pharmaceuticals); Shariah - Compliant Services (Islamic financing, Halal logistics) and eCommerce (B2C and B2B eMarketplaces). Reportedly, around 550 exhibitors took part in the show.

According to Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) press release, MIHAS 2017 hosts 580 exhibitors from 33 countries. Among the participating countries include ASEAN nations, Palestine, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, the Netherlands, Brazil, South Africa, China, Japan, Taiwan and many more. MIHAS also witness first time participation by Austria and Finland. The event is open to trade visitors from 5 to 8 April and open to the public (18 years and above only) on the last day. The number of visitors this year is targeted to reach 25,000 people.

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MATRADE has coordinated its signature business matching event called International Sourcing Programme (INSP) in conjunction with MIHAS 2017. Held yesterday at Menara MATRADE, the INSP matched 418 Malaysian companies with 172 international buyers from all over ASEAN and Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Americas, Oceania and Europe. Over 2,200 business meetings were arranged at the INSP. Last year, MIHAS generated accumulative sales of RM1.14 billion from both the exhibition and INSP.

According to YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi, MIHAS 2017 is a key event for Malaysia not only for it business propositions but also its role in strengthening Malaysia's position as the world's hub for Halal industry.

"MIHAS promotes the whole agenda of Halal and puts Malaysia on the map as a market leader in this highly lucrative industry. This week, Kuala Lumpur lights up with the gathering of key players from many continents. Above and beyond that, it showcases the benefits of implementing Islamic values to the world's economy," YAB Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi said.

He added, "MIHAS reflects a success story of the public and private sector working together to develop an ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of Malaysian companies, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In Malaysia, Government interventions coupled with private sector initiatives help to drive more inclusion of SMEs in global business, in this case through the trade of Halal products and services. This, we hope could increase SMEs' contribution in export to 23% by 2020 from the current 17.8% share."

Meanwhile YB Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed said, "Championing the inclusion of SMEs in international business through the Halal industry is also in line with ASEAN's aspiration, what's more when the region is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year."

The Halal industry is gaining strong momentum for the past decade and much of this robust growth is fueled by the high demand from not only Muslim population but the non-Muslims around the world.

The Halal market is currently valued at USD2.3 trillion annually with Halal food sector as its core component, valued at USD660 billion. Malaysia's exports of halal products in 2015 (latest figure) were valued at RM39.3 billion. The main Malaysian export items in the Halal sector last year were food and beverages, followed by Halal ingredients and palm oil derivatives. Among Malaysia's top export markets include China, Singapore, the United States of America and Japan. In addition, Malaysia's Halal exports are also projected to contribute 8.7% to Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, indicating its importance to the nation.

Complementing MIHAS 2017 will be the inaugural Malaysia International Islamic Lifestyle Exhibition (MILE), an event organized in parallel with MIHAS to promote Islamic lifestyle sector. The MILE's objective is to promote clusters such as modest fashion, Islamic education & literature, Islamic arts, IT & multimedia, jewellery and ornaments as well as social & community development.