The global Halal industry is now worth an estimated US$2.3 trillion and reaches beyond just food and beverages to include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, logistics, tourism and financial services.

Malaysia’s share of the Halal market is currently valued at US$8 billion, however that figure will get a significant boost as the Halal industry in Sarawak matures.

Late last year, the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) approved the area within the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) as a dedicated halal hub. At more than 124,000 hectares it will be the largest halal hub in South East Asia.

The development of the Halal industry in the state will be driven from TMHH. Specific industries identified for attention include aquaculture, agriculture and food production, tourism, wellness products and cosmetics.

Unlike many other halal hubs that only offer upstream, midstream and downstream facilities, TMHH is the only hub that provides opportunities for those focused on any or all of the three major sectors. This unique offering will give TMHH the edge over competing locations.

By the end of 2014, 141 companies in Sarawak were issued with Halal certification and of these, nine were multinationals, 56 were small/medium sized industries and 76 were small industries. The State Government continues to engage with local businessess and entrepreneurs to help them take advantage of opportunities in the Halal industry.

TMHH was established with the aim of promoting Halal products and services and addressing regional food security issues. It is one of the growth nodes of the exciting and ambitious Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) project.

Since 2010, the State Government has fast tracked basic infrastructure projects such as water, electricity and telecommunications in an effort to generate long term interest in Tanjung Manis. A better road network, upgraded airport at Mukah, a new water treatment plant, power supply, world-class port facilities, new commercial centres to complement existing needs are all in the planning stage or are currently under construction.

Belawai assemblyman Datu Len Talif Salleh got it right when he said, “Tanjung Manis will become a major industrial hub for the central region.”