Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brunei - Halalan Tayyiban industry offers great prospects: Minister

Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office, delivering his speech at the seminar. – Rokiah Mahmud
THE Halalan Tayyiban industry must aim to embody all aspects of quality and ethics, in order to appeal to both Muslims and non-Muslims on the world stage, said Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, during the launching of an international seminar on Halalan Tayyiban products and services, hosted by Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
The minister said that global food trends of the past few decades have witnessed the rise of processed food consumption as an important public health issue.
“Some of these products may even be harmful, while others may just be of low nutritional value,” he said. “Several food companies are simply unprincipled about their ingredients, hygiene and safety standards, and it’s no wonder that many people are beginning to look for purer and natural alternatives.
“Food that is natural, healthy, organic and Halal has great benefits for both Muslims and non-Muslims. People do genuinely care about the quality of life, health nutrition and safety.
“It is hardly any surprise that we are now witnessing an increase in market value for global organic food, which is expected to reach $161 billion by 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent.
“I am hopeful that the outcome of the seminar will guide us to be more focused and well targeted. For example, the market for Muslim Food and Beverage in the United States alone is worth US$13 billion, while the US Organic Food Market is US$35 billion. In other words, if we want to spread the concept of Halalan Tayyiban products and services, we need to position our Halal brand at the premium end of the market to attract consumers of all cultures and faith, besides Muslims.”
He added that UNISSA’s position as an educational institution, grounded with Islamic principles, was an asset to the industry.
“It is in an ideal position to distinguish between Halal and Tayyiban, and I urge UNISSA students and graduates to strive to be multi-disciplinary, so that they can contribute to the growing Halal industry in Brunei Darussalam,” he said.
The minister also said that greater growth in the food industry, combined with the demand for Halal products, was likely to provide employment opportunities for graduates from UNISSA and other local religious institutions.
“In order to succeed, we should always return to the fundamental principles across the value chain,” he said.
“The Halalan Tayyiban concept has to be embraced by all. Hopefully, this will allow our Halal industry aspirations to be realised with the correct strategy and marketing propositions.
“If we are successful with our National Food Industry Strategy, the Halal food sector is slated to contribute at least $5 billion to Brunei Darussalam’s GDP by 2035 by tapping into the global Halal industry.
“This will have an impact on Brunei Darussalam’s economy and employment, The government’s role is to provide the strategic direction and enable industrial growth by creating a conducive and sustainable eco-system for the Halal food industry, including the entire Halal food value chain.
“As part of Brunei Darussalam’s commitment to the Halalan Tayyiban Industry, I am pleased to inform that Brunei Darussalam has so far published standards and guidelines for the Halal industry such as the GD24: 2010 for the manufacturing and handling of medicinal products, traditional medicine and health supplements.”
The minister also explained that the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office, through the Global Halal Industry Development Division, will work closely with other stakeholders in pursuit of developing the local Halal industry including the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and UNISSA.
He concluded his speech with the hope that the seminar would help to advance Brunei Darussalam’s position as a leader in Halalan Tayyiban industry, through a mutual dialogue of the various possibilities that platform has to offer.
Rokiah Mahmud
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