Sunday, November 27, 2022

MIHAS 2022 Networking  Session Prelude to 18th MIHAS Kuala Lumpur

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By Roy Lie Atjam

The Hague, 25 May 2022. The Embassy of Malaysia,  and MATRADE, organised a MIHAS 2022 Networking Session. MIHAS stands for Malaysia International Halal Showcase. The 18th edition of this fair will take place in Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia,  on 7-10 September 2022. Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation  (MATRADE), through its office – the Commercial Section of the Embassy of Malaysia  in the Netherlands – organised a networking session with the Dutch Halal Industry  players on 25th May 2022, in the Hague, the Netherlands. 

The 18th MIHAS  emphasises connectivity, furnishing local exporters and international buyers with innovative and sustainable initiatives which will catapult the Halal economy to higher levels.

The networking session in The Hague aims at boosting the upcoming MIHAS 2022 and an opportunity to meet prospective participants.

Trade Commisioner Emeliana Zainol at MIHAS’ registration desk.

Organised in collaboration with Halal Quality Control (HQC) Netherlands, the event was hosted by H.E Dato’ Nadzirah Osman, Ambassador of Malaysia to the  Netherlands. Attended by 30 representatives from multiple industry portfolios such as  Food and Beverages (F&B), modest fashion, cosmetics, halal consultancy & training,  the networking session has successfully brought together key industry players not only  in the Netherlands, but from other parts of Europe too such as Belgium and Denmark.

During the event, MATRADE shared various business opportunities in the Halal  industry across various sectors. The effort is in line with MIHAS 2022 theme,  “Diversifying Halal Opportunities”. 

Ambassador of Malaysia to the Netherlands, H.E Dato’ Nadzirah Osman said, “Halal  industry in Europe has developed significantly, especially in the food sector. Currently,  an approximately 25.8 million Muslims are residing in Europe, which made up almost  5% of the Europe population. This signifies a huge market size that is ready to be  tapped on. In the Netherlands itself, the Halal sector is booming, with about 1 million  Muslim consumers in the country.”

“We can see numerous Halal products available on the shelves of mainstream  supermarkets, for example in Albert Heijn and Jumbo. This indicates the heightened  interest of consumers in the Netherlands, beyond the Muslim community, towards halal products. We believe Malaysian companies in this multi-billion sector can opt for  the Netherlands as their launching pad into the European market”, she added.

MIHAS participant shares experience.

The networking session was an avenue to promote MIHAS 2022, and also to  encourage Dutch companies to source from Malaysia, taking advantage of the  International Sourcing Programme (INSP) to be organised by MATRADE in  conjunction with MIHAS 2022.

As Malaysia transitions into the endemic phase and with the re-opening of Malaysia’s  international borders, this year’s INSP will be conducted in a hybrid mode – virtual and  physical format. The former will take place from 9 May – 31 August 2022 while the  latter will be held on 6 September 2022. The INSP complements Dutch companies’ participation as exhibitors in MIHAS, which will also be organised in both the virtual  and physical format.

Ambassador Dato’ Nadzirah Osman, talking to a guests during lunch at MIHAS

According to MATRADE’s Trade Counsellor, Emeliana Zainol, “The Netherlands, is known to be a gateway in Europe and promises great business prospects. The country  is a perfect springboard to access other European countries, with a market size of 500  million consumers. To the consumers here, Muslims or non-Muslim, Halal is fast  becoming a value proposition they prefer. Malaysian companies in the halal sector can  focus on emerging trends in Europe too such as functional food; free-from-food  categories such as gluten-free; sugar-free; lactose-free and others; vegan or  vegetarian food; plant-based food as well as sustainable food. In addition, modest  fashion is also showing great potential among the Muslim youth in Europe.”

In terms of trade, the Netherlands is Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner in  Europe, with total trade of RM36.01 billion last year. In terms of exports, the  Netherlands is the largest export destination in Europe, with a value of RM31.18 billion,  an increase by 32.7%. 

H.E. Dato’ Nadzirah also expressed her full confidence that the upcoming MIHAS will  continue to elevate the halal industry, not only for Malaysia but also to bring upward  the halal industry in the Netherlands. Over the past 18 years, MIHAS has earned a  status as a premier global marketplace for the business community around the world to explore business opportunities in the Halal sector and to expand their network too. 

Last year, MIHAS fully embarked on the digital platform, a move that resulted in MATRADE winning the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) Award in the “Best Use of Information Technologies” category, which was held in Accra, Ghana.  The award, organised by International Trade Centre (ITC), is a resounding testament  of MATRADE’s capabilities as a national trade promotion agency.

The MIHAS 2022 Networking Session in The Hague ended with a networking reception and a lunch buffet.

 MATRADE is looking forward to seeing you at the 18th MIHAS in Kuala Lumpur.

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