The 17th edition of the Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2021, is going virtual till Dec. 31, proving yet again that it remains a key platform for global halal players to converge and trade.
This is reflected in the sales recorded in the first four days of the event by 549 exhibitors participating in the event. The premier halal showcase received over 8,500 virtual visitors comprising local and international companies, generating total sales of RM985.3 million in the first four days.
MIHAS 2021 which is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation started on Sept. 9.
The products and sectors that were much in demand from the buyers clearly reflected the 12 sectors that MIHAS 2021 is promoting this year, namely halal food, education, pharmaceuticals, services and enablers, franchises, modest fashion, Islamic finance, halal cosmetics, media and recreation, Muslim-friendly tourism, e-commerce and food technology.
According to MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, Malaysian exhibitors too did very well during the first 4 days of the virtual showcase. “The creation of market opportunities for domestic halal players is part of MATRADE’s effort in supporting the nation’s economic recovery,” he said.
For the first four days of MIHAS 2021, sectors that recorded the highest total sales were Islamic financial services, beverages, pharmaceutical, toiletries and cosmetics, prepared food, and palm oil products.
Abdul Aziz highlighted that the total sales generated by MIHAS 2021 thus far amounts to RM1.6 billion after incorporating sales from the ongoing virtual exhibition and the International Sourcing Program sales. The INSP, one of the flagship components of MIHAS, is a demand-driven B2B business-matching program for Malaysian exporters that was organised by MATRADE HQ and its 46 offices worldwide since April this year as a run-up to MIHAS 2021.
MIHAS has clearly made a strong comeback despite two years of absence and being presented for the first time through a virtual format. “Although, there were initial concerns if the industry will react positively to the virtual format, to our pleasant surprise, the response has been overwhelming. For example, apart from the sales that MIHAS 2021 has generated, it also secured 549 virtual booths compared to the target of 500 booths,” he said.
MIHAS 2021 also witnessed an increase in the number of participation from international companies, highlighting the trust among global business community towards the trade fair. Through the virtual platform, the exhibitors from 43 different countries, including first-time participants from Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, and Colombia were able to engage with buyers from various different countries throughout different time zones at all hours.
“MIHAS 2021 managed to attract global halal players to visit and transact on the platform as it was developed in a holistic manner incorporating various different components such as the 12 different industry zones and knowledge hub sharing sessions as well as the support from MATRADE’s 46 global offices. We are confident that the 18th edition of MIHAS event next year will be on a bigger scale with commitment for continued synergy between physical and virtual format to reach out more Halal industry players,” he said.
There was also strong interest in the topics promoted under the knowledge hub component of MIHAS 2021 as over 1,000 viewers from around the world congregated virtually in these thought-provoking dialogues.
Sessions that were promoted by the knowledge hub program included those covering Islamic financing, innovation and business sustainability, digital technologies and the role of women entrepreneurs and perspectives from the youth in the halal economy. Prominent speakers featured in the knowledge hub session included Dato' Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman, Director General of Malaysia Productivity Corporation and Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, Founder and Executive Chairman of Amanie Group and Chairman of Shariah Advisory Council Bank Negara Malaysia.