Penang as the Halal Gateway of the East
Penang is a state with the highest GDP per capita in Malaysia, and one that remains as Malaysia’s most progressive state in terms of various life quality indexes.
In 2021, Penang recorded its all-time highest manufacturing investment of RM76.2 billion, led the entire nation’s exports with a 33.9% market share at RM42 billion, as well as the nation’s total trade at RM64.3 billion.
Penang has a stellar pedigree of industrial excellence and in 2021 celebrated its 50 years anniversary of industrialization. Not many can dispute the fact that Penang has one of the most attractive businesss ecosystems in the country, if not in the region. This owes to the fact that Penang is not only a natural tourist destination for food, beaches, heritage and natural landscapes, but it is also home to an eclectic mix of ethnic diversity working together to make this northern state a great destination for business and investment.
Penang is a successful case study where Muslims and non-Muslims alike not only coexist, but also work together to achieve common goals of peace and prosperity. The Halal industry is a case in hand as we see a seamless amalgamation of Muslims and non-Muslims in Penang in various sectors of the Halal industry, learning from each other’s experience and expertise, and developing new ideas to enrich the Halal industry in Penang.
Penang is a natural home for many foreign companies especially in the E&E sector, but increasingly attracting players from the F&B sector. Penang boasts foreign companies who have been in Penang for decades, and as a result, many foreign nations have made Penang their second home. It is not unusual to see Westerners who are not tourists, but actual long-time residents in Penang in the various cafes and eateries sprawling across Georgetown.
Penang’s various industrial parks located in different parts of the main land and the island also cater for Halal players. The Penang Halal Industrial Park (PHIP)’s Phase 1 is located south of Penang Science Park (PSP) in Bukit Minyak. The land is dedicated for food and pharmaceutical activities. PHIP’s Phase 2 was developed solely for food and food-related industries at the North of PSP. Phase 2 or Food Zone is promoted in collaboration between PDC, invest Penang and Penang Halal International.
Both Phases 1 & 2 of the PHIP has been accorded the HALMAS status from Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). Through the HALMAS status, industry players enjoy tax and import duty exemption on raw supply for their respective production.
The industrial land consists of a comprehensive mix of development that offers solid investment opportunities, an idyllic living and working environment. The Penang State welcomes investment of niche, strategic and high-technology industries especially in the Halal F&B and healthcare sectors to make Penang their new home.
More areas to develop as Halal industrial zones focusing on e-commerce fulfilment is being explored to take advantage of the rapid growth of cross-border e-commerce in the region. This will be the perfect time for foreign investors to consider Penang as a Halal Gateway of East, where they can position themselves to benefit from Penang’s role as the epicenter of ASEAN, being very close to Thailand, Vietnam, and the Sumatran part of Indonesia.
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