BY FATIHAH MANAF
MALAYSIA ’ S recognition worldwide for its sought-after bilateral halal system and standards helped Malaysian entrepreneurs expand abroad .
That was the feedback during the 8th edition of OIC Halal Expo 2021 at the Istanbul Congress Centre , Turkey , on Nov 25-28 , 2021 . In conjunction with the expo , My Events International organised the Malaysia Showcase , a platform to showcase and launch the latest halal innovations , renewable energy and sustainable products to Organisation of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC ) countries .
The showcase was in collaboration with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation ( MATRADE ) and SME Corporation Malaysia , supported by the Malaysia Exporters Association ( MEXPA ), Aladdin1 and ASEAN Chamber of Commerce & Industry Malaysia .
It featured 46 Malaysian companies ( 29 physical exhibitors and 17 virtual exhibitors ) and witnessed the exchange of five Memorandums of Understanding ( MoUs ) during the event .
The Malaysia Showcase at the 8th OIC Halal Expo generated US $ 6,627,395 in potential sales .
In an exclusive interview with @ Halal , Hema Kandy , CEO of My Events International , said Malaysia had become a go-to place for acceptable halal systems and standards .
“ Of course , we are not a ministry , nor are we a government agency . What we can do as a private sector company is to provide a platform . We provide a platform for entrepreneurs and get support and endorsements from the government of Malaysia , said Hema .
“ It is more of industry players getting together and going to certain countries and promoting their products and services . Not only do they promote , but at the end of the day , they get sales .”
She said when they first booked the space at the expo , they did not expect an overwhelming response from companies and entrepreneurs . They thought some might not be ready to go out due to the Covid-19 situation .
“ But to our surprise , many of them were eager to go out . They had the appetite to go out of the country to showcase and sell their products , to develop and to network with new people and buyers .”
Front row from left : Dato Sohaimi Shahadan , HE Ambassador Sazali Mustafa Kamal , Ambassador Dato ' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari and Rosmizah Mat Jusoh .
Overwhelming response from companies
Hema shared : “ Actually , this is our second year of participation . We first participated in 2019 when we were invited by the organiser of the OIC Halal Expo , the Discover Events , and the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries ( SMIIC ). We reviewed and brought it up to MATRADE . They told us that we could go ahead and try it out , and we did !”
In 2019 , My Events International brought in 20 companies to the expo with only 60 square metres of space , and the response they received during the 2019 exhibition was overwhelming .
“ We felt that there was a lot of potential for our exhibitors and entrepreneurs who are seeking businesses not only in Turkey but within the Eurasia region ,” shared Hema .
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic , the organiser of OIC Halal Expo cancelled the 2020
event before making its return in 2021 .
For this time around , she said My Events International only confirmed 150 square metres of space at first . However , due to the tremendous response from the Malaysian government , trade agencies , ready-to export companies and entrepreneurs , the event organiser increased the space to 216 square metres .
Hema shared that exhibitors at the Malaysia Showcase were exhibiting physically or virtually . According to Hema , online exhibitors were mainly the entrepreneurs or companies brought in under MATRADE .
“ We brought in 29 entrepreneurs that were present physically and 17 that were present online . So , there ’ s a total of 46 companies .”
Five MoUs signed during Malaysia Showcase
Hema revealed that multiple B2B meetings were concluded successfully throughout the event . As the organiser for Malaysia Showcase , she said My Events International felt responsible for bringing in visitors and potential trade buyers to the booth and not relying on other parties .
In doing so , Hema said the event organiser invited potential trade buyers and visitors to look at some specific products suitable for them . Before the actual event , My Events International had the exhibitors list their ready to export products and helped to match them with proper buyers .
“ I am delighted to say that we managed to sign five MoUs , and the total sales for the MoUs that were signed were US $ 569,395 . That was a good amount to start with . Besides