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Exploring opportunities in the halal economy: Australia to host World Halal Business Conference

Starting tomorrow, Australia will be hosting Asia’s largest gathering of halal business leaders at the World Halal Business Conference, the first time it has been held outside Malaysia.

The conference, themed “Halal Opportunities in a Borderless World”, will be held by Austrade and Global Victoria in partnership with Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. It will take place on 1 and 2 September in Melbourne.

The conference “will focus on strategic business initiatives comprising of three main pillars, which include investment promotion, trade negotiations and halal skilled talents”, according to Hairol Ariffein Sahari, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation.

“We will deliberate prevailing issues faced by the industry, with a view to inspire wealth creation, as well as promote Halal business opportunities amongst industry players,” Mr Sahari added.

For the final product to be certified halal, processes in the production and supply chain like food packing, ingredient sourcing, and slaughtering need to adhere to Islamic practices. Recent projections suggest the halal economy is expected to reach $7.3 trillion in the next ten years, with over 240 million Muslims in Southeast Asia alone.

With the two-day conference, Australian businesses will be able to explore growing halal export opportunities across sectors like health, beauty, financial services, and food. There will be sessions on clarifying misconceptions about halal, opportunities in the halal healthcare industry, and even halal science and innovation.

“From ice cream to vitamins and supplements and even fintech services, halal certification is opening new markets for Australian exporters in Southeast Asia and beyond,” noted Paul Sanda, Austrade Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Malaysia & Brunei.

“The World Halal Business Conference Circuit provides a unique opportunity for the Australian businesses to learn more about the diverse opportunities for collaboration with Malaysian businesses to benefit both our nations, but also more broadly within the global halal economy.”  

He added that the Malaysian government’s decision to host the conference in Australia signals the growing importance of Australian exports to Southeast Asian markets.

“While halal-certified food products attract strong attention, awareness is growing among Australian business about the opportunities in diverse sectors, like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, finance and tourism,” Mr Sanda said.

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READ MORE: Let’s Talk: How much will it really cost to start a business in 2022?

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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