The Halal Ecology Expands Its International Footprint

Jan '19

Is the Halal market more than just ensuring the specific manner of slaughtering animals for meat consumption, avoiding eating pork and bovine-based products, and abstaining from drinking alcohol?

The short answer is “yes”, and it’s become a multiple trillion-dollar global industry across multiple clusters. Why is this, and how did it happen?

To understand the dynamics behind the growth of the Halal ecology, we first need to look at what “halal” really means. In the Arabic language, the root meaning of “halal” simply means “according to religious law”.

The religious law of Islam applies to all areas of a Muslim’s life. It is not restricted simply to the foods that are religiously permissible to eat. The guidelines of what is religiously permissible in Islam encompasses the entire lifestyle, from how a Muslim dresses to how they earn money.

As a growing number of affluent Muslims search for products and services that can serve all areas of their lives in the Halal manner, the Halal market which once primarily focused on Food & Beverage has mushroomed into an ecology of Halal clusters that also include Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics, Logistics, Finance, E-Commerce, and Tourism, to name a few.

The Rise of the Muslim Consumer is Impossible to Ignore

According to a 2015 Pew Research study, Muslims comprise 24.1% of the world’s population and is projected to grow more than twice as fast than the overall world population between 2015-2060.

In tandem, the Muslim population has grown in affluence giving them considerable buying power. The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 estimates that Muslims spent US$2.1 trillion across the food, beverage and lifestyle sectors in 2017. They forecast Muslim spending to reach US$3 trillion by 2023.

Leading the Halal ecology is the Food & Beverage cluster where Muslim spend reached US$1.3 trillion. This is followed by Modest Fashion at US$270 billion, Media & Recreation at US$209 billion, Travel at US$177 billion, Pharmaceuticals at US$87 billion, and Cosmetics at US$61 billion. Islamic Finance is also a strong force in the Halal ecology. Based on the State of the Global Economy Report produced by Thomson Reuters, the Islamic finance industry is expected to grow substantially by 2019.

Rising New Markets are Expanding the Halal Ecology

An emerging cluster of high potential and interest in the Halal ecology is Blockchain. Since the nature of Blockchain technology supports trust and transparency, its applications in the Halal industry can promote positive business practices for the entire halal supply chain.

For example, in the Food & Beverage industry, this means ensuring Syariah-compliant practices from farm to fork; beginning with what the animals are fed to the conditions of slaughtering and the logistical chain of transport and sales.

Much potential also lies in the merging of industries within the Halal ecology. A 2015 report by Malaysia International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC) anticipates that integration between the world halal industry and the global Islamic finance system is a huge developmental potential for the growth and expansion of Islamic economics in the world markets.

The report further speculates that an increase in demand for Halal products from growing Muslim communities provides opportunities for Islamic finance to ensure a complete cycle of Shariah-compliant products and services.

Keeping Up with the Dynamic Halal Ecosystem

With the Halal market experiencing phenomenal growth across multiple clusters as well as showing promising potential in new technologies and synergy of merging industries, it can be a challenge for industry players, professionals, service providers, and even consumers to keep up with the latest opportunities and trends of the Halal market.

As the world’s largest and highly anticipated largest Halal trade show, Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) is a convenient one-stop event where those who are interested to tap into the booming global Halal markets can discover the latest offerings and advances across the dynamic Halal ecology.

MIHAS returns for its 16th edition from 3 – 6 April 2019 at MITEC Kuala Lumpur. Organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the 4-day event will connect over 1,000 exhibitors and leaders of the global Halal industry with an expected 30,000 trade visitors from 72 countries.

Those interested to participate in MIHAS 2019 as a trade exhibitor or visitor can learn more about the event on their website, www.mihas.com.my.