SARIKEI: Local entrepreneurs have been urged to venture into the international halal market as there has been an increase in global demand for halal products.

Urban Planning, Land and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh said there was also good potential of selling halal products and services among the local community.

“It can be said that halal products not only cater to the demands by Muslim consumers but it is also accepted by non-Muslim countries such as Brazil, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and China,” he said at the opening ceremony and certificate presentation to the participants of the Entrepreneurship Roadshow and Juh! Halal 2019 seminar, organised by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), in Sarikei recently.

According to the minister, the potential in the halal goods and services industry was enormous because countries in the Asean region under the auspices of the Asean Economic Council (AEC) were also in talks to standardise existing halal certification.

“This uniformity can propel the halal industry to a higher level, while developing the region into a halal industry hub compared to other halal industry players such as Australia, New Zealand and so on,” said Len, who is also chairman of Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak.

The minister said the seminar cum roadshow could become an important starting point for local entrepreneurs towards capacity building.

He called on local entrepreneurs to adhere strictly to the audit processes of halal certificates to ensure high standards in quality products, services and practices in order to gain the trust among foreign consumers especially those from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, SEDC deputy general manager Edwin Abit said a total of 40 local entrepreneurs from Sarikei and its vicinity had taken part in the programme.

He said a similar programme was also held in Kuching recently, focusing on the potential of doing business in solar power generation, which is increasingly popular in developed countries due to cost savings compared to conventional means.

He said SEDC would also continue with its programme of local entrepreneurship development in the future aimed at capacity building among those involved in the small and medium-sized enterprises.