by Lisa Heykal
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Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim launched the largest Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS 2023) edition during the opening ceremony of the Global Halal Summit (GHaS) that was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Kuala Lumpur from 12 to 15 September 2023.

This year, the 19th edition of MIHAS, proudly hosted by the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) and organized by the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), included 44 participating countries and hosted 35,000 visitors. Not only does this make it the largest MIHAS event to date but also the world-leading halal showcase. 

According to MATRADE Chairman, Dato’ Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, MIHAS has been a driving force in the global halal industry, generating RM21.66 billion in sales over the last 18 editions, and the number of exhibitors continues to grow.

“The success of MIHAS 2023 showcased the immense potential and growth opportunities within the Halal market. We provide businesses an opportunity to capitalize on the rising halal market which is expected to grow to nearly USD 3.5 trillion by 2030. It is also an opportunity for Malaysian companies to connect, network, and learn from industry leaders, making it a must-attend event for anyone within the halal economy,” Reezal said.

He added that for MIHAS this year, MATRADE was optimistic about achieving its sales target of RM2.5 billion. Apart from MIHAS 2023, GHaS 2023 will also feature other components, namely the 13th Halal Certification Bodies Convention (HCBC) by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM); the Halal Sector Forum by the Halal Development Corporation (HDC); and the Seminar on Halal Profession by the Department of Standards, Malaysia (DSM).

MATRADE Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz highlighted the enhanced inclusivity of MIHAS 2023, emphasizing its strategic collaboration with Ministries, Agencies, and State Governments. This approach aims to foster greater participation of local companies, particularly Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in this year’s highly anticipated showcase. The event has successfully attracted the involvement of 34 government agencies, encompassing Ministries, Agencies, and State Governments, further reinforcing its significance.

Besides the trade fair, MIHAS 2023 features other components including the International Sourcing Programme (INSP) in conjunction with MIHAS 2023, which brought together close to 500 international buyers to have physical and virtual business meetings with 822 Malaysian exporters. These buyers are from Australia, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Qatar, Thailand, Türkiye, and the United Kingdom. These premium buyers represent some of the largest conglomerates, retail, international procurement centers (IPCs), and hypermarkets with nationwide outlets, and have a collective revenue of USD 28 billion.

Another highlight of MIHAS 2023 is the Knowledge Hub, which will host “meet-the-experts” sessions that provide insights on trends, market access, and sourcing requirements through direct engagements with premium buyers brought in physically to MIHAS 2023. This underlines the role of MIHAS 2023 as a platform to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration. The Knowledge Hub sessions will be moderated by prominent business leaders representing chambers of commerce and trade associations.

MIHAS 2023 featured the MIHAS Awards, which aimed to celebrate the excellence and uniqueness of exhibitors and Halal products and services. It encompasses two (2) main categories:

  1. MIHAS Excellence Award – the outstanding MIHAS 2023 exhibitors are automatically included in the selection process for the award;
  2. MIHAS Innovative Award – the selection process involves exhibitor nominations and participants in a physical pitching session scheduled on 13 September.

In line with the push towards environmentalism and net zero carbon, MIHAS 2023 also organizes programs that highlight its commitment to sustainability. Malaysian actress, singer, and television host Nur Fazura will be running a “Tudung Lama, Kasi Baru” campaign, a collaboration between Fazfit Sdn Bhd, Puspanita Cawangan MITI (PCM), and MATRADE Club. Through this program, visitors are welcome to exchange their old hijabs for a voucher to purchase a new hijab from Fazura. This is to encourage sustainability practices within the community.

MIHAS 2023 will showcase the MODA Sustainable Threads Affair (MOSTA), an event by the Malaysian Official Designers Association (MODA), that will take place on 13 September at MIHAS 2023. The event aims to highlight the latest designs and innovations modestly while providing a platform to establish a network of collaboration and exchange views.

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