From the perspective of Islamic Law, Halal refers to something that is allowed, that has no binding prohibition on it. The concept of Halal and Haram is something that is universal in its application which covers all aspects of a muslim’s life, from the aspect of worship to commercial and civil acts or dealings under Islamic law.
The Halal industry is an industry comprising goods and services whose production is structurally compliant with the Islamic ethic and Law.
The increase of the Muslim population with a market of more than 1.9 billion Muslims (2019) and the growing willingness of Muslim consumers to meet their religious obligations are identified as the main factors for expansion of the Halal industry.
Faced with new challenges resulting from the economic crisis brought by the covid pandemic, and the technological evolution, the industry has to adapt to new standards, particularly in the organization and management of events.
The Malaysian government understood very early on the importance of having a framework guaranteeing its Muslim population the possibility of having access to products meeting their religious conusmption needs. They decided to engage in the challenge to deliver quality products and quality assurance to his citizens. Indeed, Malaysia is the pioneer in the halal industry. In 1974, the Research Centre for Islamic Affairs Division from the Prime Minister’s Office began delivering halal certification letters for products that meet the halal standards of the time. In 2000, Malaysia was the first country to have a documented and systematic Halal assurance system which was the first halal standards. Then in 2005, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia also know under Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) was created to administer Islamic affairs in Malaysia.
The Malaysian halal certificate issued by JAKIM is known worldwide and its logo is trusted at the international level.
In 2006, the Ministry of International trade and Industry created the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), which is the world’s first Government-backed halal industry development corporation. The agency is tasked ultimately to position Malaysia as the most competitive country leading the global halal industry.
The two of the most important annual events in the halal industry, namely the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) and the World Halal Forum (WHF) are hosted by Malaysia.
In the last few years (8), Malaysia is leading the global Halal Industry, emerging again first in the annual Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) for the year 2020/21. Saudi Arabia moved up to second place, followed by the UAE and Indonesia.
According to HDC, Since 2011 the country has attracted a total of RM16.1 billion investment into his halal park, with rm200 million in 2020, even with the global economic disruption due to the covid pandemic.
The global Islamic economy can be divided into 6 main sectors, including Islamic finance which is the largest part, with $2.88 trillion in Islamic assets in 2019. Those real-economic sectors namely Food, Fashion, Tourism, Media and recreation, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics represent $2.2 trillion of turnover in 2019, which is a 3.2% annual growth from 2018.
Malaysia leads in four of the six sectors, including halal food, Islamic finance, Muslim-friendly travel, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Malaysia was also ranked second and fourth, respectively, in the media and leisure and modest fashion sectors, in the annual State of the World Islamic Economy (SGIE) report.
In terms of bilateral trade, Singapore emerged as Malaysia’s biggest importer of halal products in 2020. With a total export value of RM4.10 billion, the city-state relegated China’s RM3.44 billion to second spot, while the United States of America came in third with RM1.74 billion.
The Covid-19 pandemic has done a lot of damage to the global economy and is still impacting the global economic landscape. Islamic economy was not spared by the global pandemic, with 8% decrease in Muslim spending in 2020.
Despite these uncertainties, the halal industry has continued to demonstrate resilience, in large part due to its strong fundamentals and the acceleration of the digital economy. We can also listed other factors as the important and fast growing Muslim population (average growth rate of 3% per year); the adoption of Halal product and servies non Muslim consumers who associate halal with high quality, safe and ethical consumerism; and growing number of national strategies dedicated to halal products and service development.
We have seen the emergence in some Muslim countries of measures to support the growth of the Halal industry and tackle the consequences of the current health crisis, in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand to name but a few. In the Islamic finance sector, Pakistan, Qatar, and Kuwait announced plans for new centralized regulations.
Muslim spend is forecasted to reach $2.4 trillion by 2024 at a 5-year Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.1%.
Muslims are expected to make up about 26% of the world’s total projected population of 2.2 billion in 2030. All this to say that the potential growth of the halal industry has made it a lucrative market to be tapped into and presenting a major global opportunity.
As we mentioned above, one of the positive consequences of COVID-19 is to have accelerated the digital transformation in most sectors of the economy. To meet the needs of the social distancing measures in place, consumer behavior is changing, with many turning to online shopping, banking, education and even entertainment. It goes without saying that the travel sector has been the most affected by this global pandemic. To adapt to this ‘New Normal’ businesses have had no choice but to adapt and convert to digital to allow consumers to shop online as well as employees to work remotely. The same goes for the services.
If we take the case of events organisation and management, before covid events were held on site. and for some a website or platform will be creste to help manage the event. But the main activities would be on site, with in person interactions.
For now covid have eliminated that possibility, and digital platforms for events that used to be optional are now the only way to organize and manage an event, and Halal events are not exceptions.
As a leader of Halal B2B Event Matchmaking, Appsaya has provided Business platforms for several Global Halal trade shows and conferences. The technology company created Connect which is MIHAS’ official Business Matching and Networking platform, among other solutions.
In this current conjuncture (economical, social interactions, technological) and the experience in providing online business matching & networking platforms, our findings show that the event industry is in the process of adopting the community model. The main reason is to assure the Industry’ stakeholders has the potential to further the interactions forged during events and deepen the experience by communicating all year long.
The idea is to have a platform where the industry stakeholders are brought together first through an event, then continue to nurture their relationship after the event within an online community.
In the view of the above, Wasabih was created to meet the need of a Community platform for the halal Industry.
With Wasabih, Appsaya’s ambition is to set the foundation of the Global Halal Economy Professional Community.
This platform has the combination of all the features of an event business matching technology and a business community like Linkedin. The focus is to regroup all the components of the Halal industry (government bodies, corporations, marketers, potential exhibitors, potential buyers, researchers, students, investors, start-up, entrepreneurs, etc. ) in one professional community.
Members of Wasabih will benefit from continuous discussions in forums and groups, publish insights through posts or articles, connect with each other, list their companies, list their products and services, build their online CVs, show interest to coming events, list their events, and ultimately get matched with each other based on interests and goals, conduct online video 1-to-1 meetings. This community leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to, for example, suggest 1-to-1 meetings to members on a regular basis. Corporations will be able to release data value with Machine Learning in order to aggregate, analyse and accelerate business.
Appsaya can create this community platform white-label for all the companies, government bodies, Industries who want to own their own community.
In conclusion, Appsaya will be contributing to this industry with the belief system that Community-based approach with a year round Business Matching, powered by Artificial Intelligence is the key to catalyze long term and sustainable growth for the betterment of the Industry, for a strength and stability of the global Islamic Economy.