The total expenditure of the global Muslim market amounted to US$3.9 trillion in 2015, of which about US$1.2 trillion was spent on food and beverages, US$78 billion in pharmaceuticals and US$56 billion under the cosmetics sector. This indicates the huge potential of the global halal industry, fueled by the demand from the global Muslim population, which is estimated at 1.8 billion as of 2012.
Bearing this in mind and leveraging on its strong adherence to the Islamic faith especially its highly regarded halal certification system, Brunei Darussalam is focusing on the development of the halal industry, particularly food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
A 174-hectare industrial site, known as the Bio Innovation Corridor (BIC) has been assigned for the development of halal-related industries, providing basic infrastructure and utilities, such as roads and electricity, to facilitate potential investors’ operations. To date, Phase I of BIC, with an area of 25 hectares, is ready to accommodate the development of halal-related projects.
Brunei Darussalam’s stringent and government-backed halal certification process is highly regarded, with a turnaround time of no more than 45 calendar days. A series of documentations on standards and guidelines pertinent to the halal industry has been published, namely: PBD 24:2007 Halal Food Standard; GD24:2010 Halal Guidelines for the Manufacture and Handling of Medicines, Traditional Medicines, and Health Supplements; and PBD 26:2016 Guidelines for the Manufacture and Handling of Halal Cosmetic Products.
These documents serve as a guide for potential investors interested in venturing into the halal industry in the country. Brunei Darussalam’s halal certification mark is also backed by several Acts and Orders, thus ensuring the integrity of the certification mark.
To ensure products sold within the domestic market, including those locally produced, meet Brunei Darussalam’s halal requirements, the Halal Science and Metrology Centre conducts halal food analyses at its laboratory facilities. The Centre’s equipment is able to detect porcine DNA and proteins, alcohols, oils, fats, lards, gelatine and other substances which may render a product to be non-halal. The Centre also provides technical support to the Ministry of Religious Affairs for halal certification applications.
Brunei Darussalam welcomes any proposal for foreign direct investment (FDI) in halal-related industries into the country, particularly in the following priority sub-sectors: