As a country practising Islamic law as a way of life and pillar of administration, Brunei Darussalam works towards becoming a Halal industry hub regionally and internationally. The Halal markets hold vast potential for Brunei, especially in providing food security for Muslims in non-Islamic practising countries. Brunei has diligently worked towards the development of a Halal industry, particularly in ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines) East ASEAN Growth Area. In addition, the Sultanate has been focussing on the advancement of its Halal food, beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
In Brunei, Halal certification is issued and controlled by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA). The Halal Food Control Division under the MoRA is responsible for the enforcement of Halal Meat Act, Chapter 183 and its regulations, and Halal Certificate and Halal Label Order (2005). All restaurants and food manufacturers catering to the Muslim community are required to obtain a Halal certificate or Halal branding under this order.
Adding on to the country’s implementation of Syariah law, it will further enhance the confidence that Brunei is fully determined to set its goal as a Halal industry hub regionally and internationally.
In realising the initiative, Brunei via BIMPEAGA Vision 2035 provides the policies that give significant advantages to local businesses and their alliances to expand within the region. The Brunei Darussalam BIMP-EAGA Business Council’s (BD-BEBC) strategic initiatives aim to promote the development of the BIMP-EAGA region as the main economic platform to move towards a Halal economy.
With the Muslim population projected to increase from 1.86 billion to three billion by 2060, the Halal industry is a major growing economic industry that is vital for the Sultanate to
penetrate further as part of its economic diversification policies.
The council focusses on branding the BIMPEAGA region as an international trade hub based on Syariah Compliance Value Stream and Trade Services. In addition, the council promotes the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to develop as an industry and production base for the global Islamic market. The initiative was further strengthened when the council launched its e-commerce platform, a joint initial investment between GTWO International Co Ltd, Thailand; IHTHS Corporation, Brunei; and PT Winmas, Indonesia.
The platform comprises products from BIMPEAGA and beyond with a category for the Syariah compliant products. In December 2020, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked on Syariah compliance products development and trade between BD-BEBC and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). The MoU further propels the development of the Halal economy in the BIMP-EAGA region with the primary focus on Halal products and certifications.
The MoU has been endorsed by BIMP-EAGA Business Councils for BD-BEBC to play a leading role in developing BIMP-EAGA as one of the largest special Halal economy zones.
The MoU is also focussed on investment opportunities in the Halal economy with potential for joint ventures between Brunei and Taiwan.
With the Muslim population projected to increase from 1.86 billion to three billion by 2060, the Halal industry is a major growing economic industry that is vital for the Sultanate to penetrate further as part of its economic diversification policies. The Asia-Pacific region is home to almost one billion Muslims and has a large potential market for Halal products.
Local entrepreneurs have also been encouraged to market their Halal certified products not only to local consumers but also on international market platforms.
The current global market has displayed strong acceptance of Halal products with increasing demand for Halal pharmaceuticals products and health supplements.
While the trend of Halal pharmaceutical products and health supplement offers vast opportunity or platform for the country, several factors play a role in determining the Halal or Haram status of such products. Brunei has set high standards and guidelines for manufacturing and handling of Halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements.
Local entrepreneurs have been encouraged
to market their Halal certified products not only to local consumers but also on international market platforms.
The guidelines include sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation and storage of Halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements.
According to the guidelines, Halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements must not contain any components or products of animals that are non-Halal according to the Syariah law or products of animals that are not slaughtered according to the Syariah law. The products must not contain any sorts of anything in any quantity that is derived from najis as defined by the Islamic law.
In addition, the finished products or any of their ingredients must be safe and not cause harm to its consumers. Products must be prepared, processed or manufactured using equipment and facilities that are free from contamination of najis as defined under the Syariah law.
Simpor Pharma is the first Brunei Halal pharmaceutical manufacturing company, offering comprehensive contact manufacturing services for branded nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies. The company is a joint venture of foreign direct investment (FDI) between Viva Pharmaceutical Inc of Canada and Strategic Development Capital Fund, one of Brunei’s equity funds.
With an investment value of over USD26 million, it is the country’s first good manufacturing practice (GMP) and Halal-certified contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
As part of its services, Simpor’s quality control lab offers in-house lab testing as well as physical, chemical analytical, and microbiological testing upon requests. Simpor Pharma verifies chemical compounds in raw materials and finished products, as well as the absence of harmful bacterial and other microbial contamination.
Brunei has set high standards and guidelines for manufacturing and handling of Halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements.
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