The 15th Malaysia
International Halal Showcase 4-7 April 2018 Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Kuala Lumpur

Blog

Halal Exhibitions: Bridging Halal And Conventional Trade
22 January 2017

For any sector of the market to succeed, there must be a sure-fire path to the global network, which is no different for the halal market. There are many means to enable this, such as the Internet. However, the strongest driving factor of connectivity between halal trade and the conventional trade network - are halal exhibitions. Many conventions are held in order to publicize and facilitate access to available products such as Halal Expo Japan which held last year (2016). Staying true to the comprehensiveness of the halal brand, the expo did not just incorporate food and drinks, but also clothing. The organisation of Tokyo Modest Fashion Show 2016 truly displayed the range of aesthetics and practicality of Islamic fashion whilst maintaining the modesty espoused by Islamic beliefs, i.e. the concept of aurah. This has led to Japan’s recent initiative to unify halal standards, inaugurated by a press conference on the 22nd of November 2016 in Tokyo which is impressive considering the Muslim population numbers only around 70,000 people, as of 2010. It’s more than just exposure. Since Japan’s standardization of halal certification and monitoring, halal products are now in direct competition with conventional ones. Plus, the import and export of halal products from foodstuff to clothing and personal care products, ensures a rapid rate of trade within the region, subsequently reducing trade deficits of exporting Muslim countries such as Malaysia. This continuous flow of trade also benefits importers such as Japan. Japan’s exports to Muslim majority countries such as Malaysia means its trade balance remains healthy too. Furthermore, exhibitions are more accessible than other channels. People who visit these events get to experience for themselves the halal items, whether that comes in the form of watching a modest fashion show or tasting Sharia-compliant food. This means they can gauge for themselves the quality of these products and assess their preferences in a more verifiable way as opposed to reading it from the news or going to small-time halal stores. This also applies to the tourism industry (involving companies such as Halal Trip), where interested potential consumers are able to ask tourist agencies and compare available rates there and then when it comes to available halal options. Halal expos and exhibitions are often massive. The magnitude of the event is emphasized by the presence of countless of vendors, and the venue is often filled to the brim by visitors throughout the entirety of the exhibition. This naturally also attracted large numbers of interested buyers, and not only individual consumers but also companies that are interested in signing contracts with other companies. Halal Expo Japan attracted more than 6000 visitors throughout its two-day period. A good example of how conventional trade intersects with halal trade is the Free Trade Agreement signed between Singapore and the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation council, consisting of Arab states). There are many challenges to the expansion of the halal trade like standardization of halal certification and the monitoring of the supply chain. But it is only with halal exhibitions that the connection between all the stakeholders in the halal economy - can come together in a more personalized way and overcome these issues together.