Selangor – Halal Fiesta Malaysia or HALFEST – the largest local Halal expo in Malaysia – opened its doors on September 3, 2014 at the MINES Exhibition Centre (MIECC), Seri Kembangan, Selangor, showcasing more than 600 Halal entrepreneurs and close to 70,000 visitors from various states nationwide. This annual local Halal expo – a public-private sector initiative – is held annually and was conceptualised from the get-go to support the development of the local Halal sector. This public-private sector strategic partnership is another significant effort to provide supportive platform to build strong, professional and resilient entrepreneurs which will truly reflect Malaysia’s strength in the Halal industry.
YBhg. Dato’ Haji Othman bin Mustapha, Director General of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) delivered the welcoming speech, and YBhg Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd Shafie Bin Haji Apdal, Minister at the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKLW) delivered the keynote address and opened HALFEST 2014 at the Opening Ceremony today.
“As the host for HALFEST 2014, we at KKLW are extremely pleased to be able to support and contribute to the realisation of yet another staging of the largest local Halal trade fair in Malaysia. We believe that HALFEST 2014 is the best place to meet, encourage and develop local entrepreneurs to become more competitive in the local market. Our main focus is surely to develop entrepreneurs from rural areas, and our presence at HALFEST 2014 will enable us to reach out to all participants and entrepreneurs. This is in line with our efforts to implement the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) where rural areas will be transformed to attract more private investments, creating a variety of activities and opportunities which in turn will provide an opportunity for the youth to stay or return to live and work in rural areas. Therefore, at HALFEST 2014, we hope to garner as much interest from entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs from rural areas, so that we may help develop and nurture them a sustainable and competitive entrepreneurs,” said KKLW minister, YB Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd Shafie.
As one of the strategic partners and strong supporter of HALFEST, JAKIM will be providing advisory services to SMEs concerning matters relating to application of Halal certification at the JAKIM booth. “The process of applying for Halal certification is actually not very difficult, as long as the industry is ready to comply with the Halal standards and requirements and at HALFEST, we will be able to provide facilitations and advice to all SMEs and visitors who wish to speak to us directly,” said JAKIM Director General, YBhg. Dato’ Haji Othman bin Mustapha.
HALFEST aims to promote Halal products manufactured by local companies from around Malaysia and to inculcate Halal lifestyle amongst Malaysian consumers. Mohd. Shukri Abdullah, HALFEST Chief Executive Officer said, “By setting up a promotional platform for these companies, HALFEST will help nurture Halal entrepreneurs to be export-oriented. In just a few years they would be ready to experience the Halal export market through the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS).”
“HALFEST being a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) event showcased approximately 545 companies during its first year in 2011, and the figure increased to 637 companies in HALFEST 2012. In terms of the total visitors, HALFEST attracted about 50,685 in 2011 and further increased to 67,532 visitors from all over Malaysia in 2012. It is clear, based on these figures, that the local Halal industry is a great platform to promote and market their Halal products and services. HALFEST 2014 targets to showcase 600 Halal entrepreneurs and attract 70,000 visitors,” continued Mohd. Shukri.
The showcase is also proud to announce the strategic collaboration with CIMB Islamic as the main sponsor for HALFEST. Recognising the needs for Shariah-compliant financial solutions to develop a holistic Halal economy, CIMB Islamic continues to be the main partner for the show in support of the event for the fourth consecutive year. Their role in HALFEST signifies profound understanding on the importance of Halal industry as an important component for the growth of the Halal economy.
“Our support of HALFEST grows each year and we are pleased to see that the HALFEST platform has succeeded in helping the participants in HALFEST in the past to promote and expose their Halal products and services to a wider audience. We hope that the participants continue to take full advantage of the exposure, learning and network opportunities here, and achieve their objectives to enhance their business,” said Badisyah Abdul Ghani, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic.
HALFEST 2014 showcases Halal products and services from sectors such as food and beverage, cosmetics and personal care, Muslimah fashion and accessories, pharmaceutical and herbal products, Islamic capital and financial services, food processing and packaging machinery, and representatives from related government agencies and associations.
Muslimah fashion is a growing trend, with increasing following in the fashion industry worldwide. HALFEST this year introduces a new pavilion called ‘Hijabsterzfest’ to solely highlight this sector. ‘Hijabsterzfest’ showcases more than 100 booths displaying Muslimah apparels and accessories, which includes fashion brands by celebrities such as Medina by Mizz Nina and RS Collection by Sabhi Saddi.
HALFEST 2014 offers many interesting programmes such as ‘Cabaran Dapur Cilik HALFEST’ featuring Chef Jaafar Onn, ‘WokShop Chef Wan’ with celebrity chef, ‘Makan King’, ‘Sesi Santai Bersama Ustaz Don’, ‘Motivasi bersama Heliza Helmi’, the presence of well-known artists such as Izzue Islam, Arja Lee and Didie Alias, as well as many other exciting programmes.
HALFEST is brought to you by CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, hosted by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKLW) and co-organised by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), and in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), and Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). It is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA), and Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia (PPIM) and is organised and managed by Shapers Malaysia Sdn Bhd.