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.
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.
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.
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.