Economic Diplomacy

Malaysia Looks to Other Muslim Markets

Halal-certified exports may provide some resolution to Malaysia’s middle-income trap. The potential ranges from traditional opportunities in food manufacturing to service elements such as health care. The current value of those exports is now about $10 billion. While representing only about 5% of the country’s export revenue, the government is determined to be a global player in the field.

Malaysia is now deep into its Halal Industry Development Master Plan. It may just work. While halal goods are in short-supply to meet current demand, the segment is also growing. Consider that Muslim consumer spending worldwide may increase by as much as 50% of the next five years. Yet Malaysia faces a formidable challenge. Both Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, among others, are positioning themselves to take advantage of the same opportunities.

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