Malaysia is targeting halal products export to hit RM50 billion this year compared with last year’s target of RM40 billion.

As of September 2015, the export value of halal products totalled RM31.1 billion, up 27 per cent from a year earlier, said Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Hence, he was confident of achieving the target of RM40 billion for 2015.

The top five markets for Malaysia’s halal products exports last year were China, Singapore, the United States, Indonesia, and the Netherlands, he told reporters after visiting Dewina Food Industries Sdn Bhd, the manufacturer of popular halal food brand, Brahim’s, in Bandar Baru Bangi, Friday.

The top six halal products sectors included food and beverage, halal ingredients, palm oil derivatives, cosmetics and personal care, industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals, he added.

Ahmad said as of December 2014, there were 5,415 halal certified companies in Malaysia, an increase of 30.5 per cent from 4,443 recorded in 2013.

Out of the total, 1,841 or 34 per cent were Bumiputera companies, he said.

“I urged that more Bumiputera companies are involved in halal certification and acquire the halal certification as halal and Muslim are closely related,” he said.

Halal Industry Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said halal exports contributed about five per cent to total exports as of September last year.

Meanwhile, Ahmad reassured that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) would not affect the halal industry as there was a clause in the trade pact that gave recognition to the industry and Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

“We don’t have to worry as it would not affect the halal industry, furthermore, it (TPPA) recognises the halal industry and Jakim certification in the agreement.

“This puts the halal industry in good stead for the future,” he added.

Also present was Brahim’s Group Executive Chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad.