Royals attend Halal Products Expo opening

National 2 minutes, 50 seconds


HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday officiated at the opening of the fifth edition of the International Halal Products Expo (IHPE) 2010, continuing national efforts to establish Brunei as a regional halal hub.

With His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah.

Upon arrival at the International Convention Centre in Berakas, His Majesty was greeted by Industry and Primary Resources Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Health Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Md Yusof and Minister of Religious Affairs Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman.

Soon after opening the expo, His Majesty and other members of the royal family toured the more than 200 local and international booths participating this year, while conversing with the vendors and enquiring about their products, which ranged from food and medicines to Islamic finance.

New attractions of the expo this year include a separate pavilion for Thailand, which requested the facility to house its vendors as it is one of the largest participants in the IHPE 2010. The exhibits included a demonstration of Thai handicraft-making, stalls of Thai fruit, foodstuff, jewellery and accessories.

IPHE aims to be one of the platforms in bringing the public and private sectors together, to help Brunei explore opportunities in the halal market, and for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to penetrate the international market through arranged networking sessions, a statement from expo organiser Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) said.

"With (Brunei's) strong Islamic credentials, (the IHPE) hopes to not just bring in commercial value partnerships but (also) assist the country in the delivery of safe and quality halal products and services globally.

"The participation in both the expo and the (International Halal Market) conference is a positive indicator to sharing the belief of what halal can bring to their business," the press release said.

The expo's organising committee is hoping to build on the success of previous editions of the IHPE, which saw 39,000 visitors last year. They organisers expect a third more, or 13,000 visitors on top of last year's figure for the IHPE 2010.

"The continuing presence of the expo reinforces the Sultanate's commitment to the nation towards the halal industry," the MIPR statement said.

This year's expo also saw the invitation of renowned celebrity chef Bobby Chin, who will be holding cooking demonstrations and overseeing a cooking contest as some of the expo's sideline activities.

In addition, another new programme introduced this year is the "CEO Economic Forum: Learning Journey", where a panel of senior executives of global companies yesterday discussed opportunities and challenges for Brunei in lifestyle sectors, such as pharmaceutical, food retailing and tourism.

During previous expos, several national flagship initiatives such as the Halal Label Certificate and Halal Label Order 2005, Brunei Darussalam Halal Food Standard and Guidelines, national rice Laila and the Halal Science Centre and the Brunei Agrotech Park were unveiled.

The fifth IPHE ends on June 6.

The Brunei Times