Muhammad Haifan Usalli, general manager of Warees Investments Ptd Ltd, a subsidiary owned by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), said the number of products certified as Halal by Muis had increased tremendously since the past five years, from about 2,300 in year 2000 to more than 11,500 last year.
Speaking at the Singapore Halal Forum 2010 held in conjunction with Food&Hotel Asia 2010 trade fair at Singapore Expo, Muhammad said Singapore’s open economy as well as excellent physical and institutional infrastructure was the catalyst for the growth of its Halal industry.
Despite being a Muslim-minority country, he said Singapore had done well in terms of serving the needs of its Muslim population, which makes up about 15 per cent of five million people.
The number of Halal-certified premises in the city-state has also increased five-fold from about 500 outlets in 2000 to almost 2,700 last year.
Mr Muhammad Haifan also said there was now a gradual expansion of local Halal-certified products that included health supplements, cleansing and sanitising agents, traditional Chinese medicine and many more.
He pointed out that Singapore Halal-certified companies, which were well-reputed for high standards of safety and quality, adhered to MUIS’ Halal Quality Management System or HalMQ (pronounced as ‘Hallmark’).
HalMQ is a set of systems-based Halal requirements, which are benchmarked against internationally-known standards such as HACCP and ISO.
Mr Muhammad Haifan said the rigorous certification requirement by MUIS provided additional assurance to trade buyers on the reliability and ‘Halalness’ of the Singapore-made products.