SPEECH TEXT BY MINISTER, LAUNCH OF E-HALAL APP

SPEECH BY

YB DATO' SERI MOHAMED NAZRI BIN ABD AZIZ
MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE, MALAYSIA

AT THE LAUNCH OF E-HALAL APP

14 March 2018
WOW KL - MATIC

(LIST OF SALUTATIONS WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE ORGANIZER)

1. First and foremost, I would like to thank Seni Teknologi Sdn Bhd, for inviting me to the Launch of e-Halal App.I am indeed pleased to be here today with all of you. I would like to congratulate Seni Teknologi Sdn. Bhd. and KDU , for making a dream the e-Halal App a reality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2. It is common knowledge that Malaysians love to eat and their passion for food is boundless. Our "multiracial" or "multi-ethnic" characterises our local cuisine, which has also been described as a ‘fusion cuisine' formed out of the influences of the predominant ethnic populations of Malay, Chinese and Indian.

3. This quality has contributed to the emergence of a wide spread of culinary delights for Malaysians to savour. From Nasi Lemak, to our sensational satay; from our Mutton Biryani to Roti Canai, from Dim Sum to Chao Kuey Tiao; and last but not least, our range of delightful desserts such as Ondeh Ondeh, Sri Muka and so forth. From sambal to satay, Malaysians are known to infuriate overseas customs with the various local delights they have brought overseas.

4. Beyond providing nutrients to the body, food is also a great catalyst for relationship building and friendship bonding. Bringing food to friends is arguably one of the joyous chores of adult relationships. Nothing bonds friends closer than sharing a meal together. Commercials deals are known to have been "agreed" on dining tables. In short, food is where the heart is.

Ladies and gentlemen,

5. Local food has been found to be an important element of the tourist experience which adds value to a holiday at destination. As such, the Tourism Malaysia under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has developed a "Promotional Plan" that includes promoting local cuisine as part of the tourist experience. These marketing efforts demonstrate the Malaysian Government's seriousness in promoting the country as a food tourist destination.

6. Tourism Malaysia has collaborated with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and developed joint campaigns and annual events specifically promoting Malaysian cuisine as one of the country's tourist attractions. "Malaysian Kitchen Programme" is an international promotional cuisine program strategized by MATRADE as a platform introducing Malaysian cuisine and local commodities worldwide.

7. On the other hand, the "Fabulous Food 1Malaysia" campaign was launched by MOTAC in 2009 and organises the three Malaysian cuisine annual promotional events;
i. "Malaysia International Gourmet Festival" (MIGF),
ii. "ASEAN Heritage Food Trail with Chef Wan", and
iii. "Street and Restaurant Food Festival" (MOTOUR, 2011).

8. In addition, the Department of Heritage Malaysia released its 100 Malaysian Heritage Foods List in December 2009. This list was expanded to 151 in October 2013. Clearly, food and cuisine have become very important components of Malaysia's approach to destination marketing.

Ladies and gentlemen,

9. As a progressive Muslim country with consistent economic development and growth rate, as well as political and social stability, Malaysia is the leader in the world's halal industry. The first halal standards released in 2000 was an important milestone for Malaysia as it became the first country to have a documented and systematic Halal assurance system. The standards became the impetus to a new revolution that had transformed Halal, from strength to strength, from a traditional cottage industry to a vibrant new economy with an estimated global market value of USD2.30 trillion.

10. The rapid development of Halal certification in Malaysia has also prompted the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to extend its halal section into a much bigger organisation in 2005, officially named JAKIM's Halal Hub. JAKIM was the world's first halal certification body responsible for monitoring the halal industry, leading to the amendment of Malaysia's Trade Description Act in 2011, which gives JAKIM a much stronger mandate to regulate the halal industry.

11. JAKIM's recognition programme for international Halal bodies is the most stringent and sought-after bilateral halal system recognition programme in the world with over 50 international bodies registered to-date.

12. Indeed, the iconic Malaysian Halal logo is the most sought-after, globally-recognised hallmark that serves as an emblem for the country's reputation as the world's leading halal hub.

13. As such, it would be ideal to introduce a Halal Food Marketplace ("HalalFood") that allows overseas buyers to easily buy JAKIM certified products from Malaysian companies.

14. While there are already a few Halal web portals and mobile applications, none of them has either been officially recognised or has the e-commerce platform of delivering the Halal food to overseas buyers in an easy and convenient manner. Moreover, none of these Halal apps have been aggressively promoted to overseas markets.

15. Halal Food aims to fill up the current market gap and achieve the following;
i. Listing Malaysian companies with JAKIM certified Halal food items,
ii. Aggressively promoting the e-Halal App in overseas markets in conjunction with Ministry of Tourism and Culture ; and
iii. Delivering Halal food items to the overseas buyers via 3rd Party Logistics integration.

16. HalalFood will work with Malaysia companies, and JAKIM, to list appropriate Halal food items on the marketplace. On this market place, companies and items will be carefully scrutinised to ensure they comply with JAKIM and other international regulations. It will boast a comprehensive listing of items from Malaysian companies, with hi-resolution product images and Halal certificates.

Ladies and gentlemen,

17. I am told that to-date, already 30 suppliers with more than 1,000 Halal food items have been listed on the marketplace. I hope more suppliers and Halal food items will get on-board the marketplace and share our Malaysian gastronomic delights with the rest of our Muslim & non-Muslim counterparts across the world.

18. I also want to see HalalFood leverage on the internet to enable it to be available across the world. I have also been informed, the HalalFood will focus on the following 3 countries;
i. China, in particular Xin Jiang, since it has the highest concentration of Muslims;
ii. Dubai, since it has both the purchasing power and the Muslim concentration; and
iii. Indonesia, in view of its large Muslim population and proximity to Malaysia.

19. I hope after the successful initial launch today the e-Halal App will be expanded to cover more countries, and hopefully the entire world.

20. To facilitate the delivery of HalalFood items to end-users, 3rd Party Logistics ("3PL") will be integrated into the system. The 3PLs will ensure the complete door-to-door delivery of the products from the suppliers to the buyers, including all necessary customs clearance documentation.

21. For a start, DHL will be the initial 3PL partner. I hope DHL will aggressively bring in more 3PL players to ensure the delivery of the e-Halal App products across the world.

22. The second phase of this project could be the development of Malaysia Premium Food Gifts ("MPFG"). Working together with Malaysian companies and the various universities and trade bodies, we could strive to develop MPFG with the following characteristics;
i. Aesthetically attractive food gifts, that can be given as gifts to overseas friends and associates
ii. Ambience temperature shelf-stable food gifts, ie food gifts that do not need refrigeration and can last longer in ambience/room temperature

Ladies and gentlemen,

23. I am proud to support this programme in view of the following;
i. If successful, HalalFood will further enhance Malaysia footprint in the Halal Food
ii. Can be used in conjunction with Tourism promotion
iii. Support Malaysian companies to penetrate the world
iv. Collaboration with students, the future pillars of Malaysia

Ladies and gentlemen,

24. Without doubt, the next two years are a crucial period for our country's tourism - they are the lead up to the much-anticipated Visit Malaysia 2020. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Tourism Malaysia are working hard to ensure visibility of the country as a preferred holiday destination that is affordable with a great diversity of attractions.

25. During this significant year, Malaysia targets to attract 36 million tourists worldwide and RM168 billion in tourist receipts. The objective is to promote Malaysia as a top-of-mind destination and we will be adopting the "Travel, Enjoy and Respect" tagline in affiliation with the World Tourism Organisation's movement to raise awareness on how tourists can become catalysts for sustainable development and responsible tourism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

26. I sincerely congratulate Seni Teknologi Sdn. Bhd. and KDU for taking the lead to start this project, and wish you all the best. I am confident this project will achieve its objectives.

On that note, I am glad to officially launch the e-Halal App.

Thank you.

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