August 14, 2006
By Azrol Azmi
Five Memorandums of Understanding were signed between Brunei Darussalam and several Australian companies yesterday as part of the initiatives to make the Sultanate one of the leading players on the global Halal map.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dato Paduka Haji Hamdillah, Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, at the first ever International Halal Product Expo 2006 which is held from August 7-11, 2006.
Signing the MoUs for the Brunei side were the Government of Brunei Darussalam, represented by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), and the government-linked companies Jerambak Holding Pty Ltd, Halaqah Sdn Bhd and Semaun Holdings Sdn Bhd. The Australian companies that signed the agreements were Lemnos Food Pty Ltd, Nolan Meats Pty Ltd and Alternate Meats Asia Pty Ltd.
The MoUs are considered a major breakthrough for Brunei Darussalam and showed the MIPR’s commitment to make the halal industry one of the major thrusts in economic diversification, using the uniqueness of the country’s Islamic principles of Malay Muslim Monarchy (MIB) and cultural diversity as one of the main strengths or competitive advantage that can be exploited and developed.
In a statement, the MIPR said the initiative started back in February 2005 when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Prime Minister John Howard of Australia agreed that officials from the two countries should examine ways to develop a niche high quality halal export industry combining Australia’s reputation as a producer of fresh, high quality food products with Brunei Darussalam’s stringent halal certification standards.
The statement added that the Government of Brunei Darussalam, assisted by the Australian Government agency, Austrade, is researching market opportunities for the Brunei Premium Halal Brand. The Brunei Premium Halal is an initiative by MIPR in collaboration with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
The idea is to incorporate commercial values into the halal certification capacities. Brunei Darussalam is well known as a respectable, peaceful Islamic country and its stringent ways of halal certification when combined with quality products will result in the production of Premium Halal Products.
The last MoU was signed between Halaqah Sdn Bhd and Nolan Meats Pty Ltd who were represented by Pengiran Haji Hassan and Mr Terrence William Nolan respectively.
Under the MoU, Halaqah and Nolan Meats will be involved in the commercial development of the Brunei Premium Halal Brand for a range of beef products currently produced by Nolan Meats as well as for other new products that would be jointly developed. Other activities will be in relation to marketing strategies and programmes that would be geared for the international markets.
Participants will jointly explore other investment opportunities related to the Brunei Premium Halal Brand. Assessment will be carried out on the opportunity for the establishment of food processing and associated operations in Brunei Darussalam, and the level of joint investment by interested Brunei entities.
Participants will also explore the feasibility of establishing a Halal Innovation Centre in Victoria, Australia.