Photo: Board of ASEAN Summit Association of Southeast Nations in Thailand at Press Center in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 20, 2019. Chanonnat Srisura /

Halal Industry

Indonesia calls for halal industry to be a focus for Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle

Indonesia has underlined the halal industry as one of the three areas of cooperation for the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).

President Joko Widodo, who chaired the 12th IMT-GT Summit in Bangkok on June 23, focused on connectivity, and sustainable and inclusive economic development as the other two areas of cooperation.

President Widodo said during the event that Indonesia intends to hold a Halal Summit in October 2020 to open up opportunities in the halal industry within the sub-region.

President @Jokowi chaired the 12th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Summit in Bangkok (23/02)

Indonesia underlined 3 areas of cooperation for IMT-GT to focus on namely connectivity, sustainable and inclusive economic development, and halal industry

— Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia (@Menlu_RI) June 23, 2019

The sub-regional cooperation event was held in conjunction with the 34th ASEAN Summit that this year addressed the theme ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’.

The IMT-GT sub-regional cooperation initiative started in 1993 to accelerate economic and social transformation in the three Southeast Asian countries.

It involves 14 provinces in southern Thailand, eight northern states of Peninsular Malaysia, and ten provinces of Sumatra in Indonesia.

The IMT-GT Implementation Blueprint 2017-2021 already includes halal products and services as one of seven strategic pillars, each with its own working group.

It states one of the example projects that may require "joint debottlenecking effort" is the acceptance of halal standards and halal certification.

Other challenges it cites are talent and capacity shortages, particularly among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the need to improve demand-driven products and services in terms of quality, price, brand, taste and nutritional facts, as well as the need to improve accessibility to raw materials, skilled and semi-skilled workers and financing. 

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