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Government spending and Private Consumption to spur Thai economy

With a 3.8% increase in private consumption in the second quarter this year and higher tourism growth, the Thai economy seems to be on the way of a modest economic recovery. Deputy finance minister Wisudhi Srisuphan yesterday voiced optimism that government spending in infrastructure projects will help bolster economy with continual growth is expected in the second half of the year. Besides, government’s spending on infrastructure mega projects would stimulate growth in the second half of this year. GDP growth this year is now projected to rise to 3.3%, exceeding the earlier forecast 3%, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) revealed last week. The improved growth was attributed mainly to government spending in mega projects and the charter referendum which ended peacefully with the majority giving approval to the charter. Thanawat Pholvichai, director of the UTCC’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, said the recent sign of economic recovery was seen in the consumers confidence index in July which rose for the first time in seven months, along with lower inflation rate, improving drought situation helped boost the growth. BOT: High consumption growth in Q2 reflects economic recovery The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has indicated that the Thai economy has fully recovered, judging from the significant increases in GDP and private consumption in the second quarter. Mr Jaturong Jantarangs, the BOT’s Assistant Governor for the Monetary Policy Group, noted that national GDP expanded 3.5 percent year-on-year during the second quarter. Moreover, according to a report by the National Economic and Social Development Board, private consumption also posted a rise of 3.8 percent. He said both figures are indicative of full economic recovery although public investment, which has been a major driver of the economy, is slowing down slightly while private investment remains sluggish. Compared with domestic factors, the Assistant Governor pointed out that the central bank is indeed giving more weig

Update Date : 09/06/2016

FROM banking to food to cosmetics, the Halal economy is constantly growing.

The food industry is one of the biggest markets in the Halal sector, as it caters to the entire 1.8 billion Muslim consumers globally. According to The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2015/16 published by Thomson Reuters, muslim consumer spending on food and lifestyle has reached US$1.8 trillion in 2014 and is projected to reach US$2.6 trillion in 2016. The Brunei Times journalist Zafirah Zaili recently interviewed Dato Seri Ibrahim Haji Ahmad Badawi, executive chairman of Brahim Holdings Sdn Bhd, to delve into his thoughts on the global food industry. You’ve been in the Halal food industry for almost 30 years now and have succeeded in building a business that expands to Japan and The Middle East. What should local companies here do to reach that level of success? There are so many opportunities in the market especially now that the global Halal market is expanding at such a fast rate. Even non-Muslim countries like Japan and China are stepping up their game and developing Halal products because they want to tap into this huge market. They do however have their own challenges and obstacles as they lack the knowledge and expertise on Halal. Brunei has an upper hand because it is well known for its strict Halal certification. Companies here should really take advantage of this and supply these countries with Halal products or partner up with them to supply expertise and knowledge on the process of Halal. The opportunities in the market are endless, it's all a matter of grabbing the ones that are viable and feasible for Brunei's capabilities. The bruneihalal brand is now available in the UK and is also planning to penetrate markets in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East. What can they do to ensure a successful expansion? Being able to export to other countries is always a great accomplishment for a company and I believe that the bruneihalal brand has worked hard to be able to penetrate other markets. There are many other markets in need of Muslim partners and also experts in Halal and th

Update Date : 09/06/2016

Indonesia must look to neighbours for halal export inspiration

Indonesia’s halal industry is looking to follow the footsteps of neighbours Malaysia and Thailand to become one of the world’s major halal product suppliers, as it looks to seize the vast opportunity brought about by the ever increasing global halal market. “As we know, the global halal trade is growing fast, especially halal product exports from the Asean region to middle east and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) countries, as the biggest consumers of halal products,” Mohamad Bawazeer, chairman of the Middle East and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Asean Today. “And of course this will cause a trade competition between the Asean countries in taking advantage of this opportunity,” he added. This opportunity, is no small matter. It is estimated that Muslims account for 27 per cent of the world population, or 1.7 billion people, and is expected to surge to 2.8 billion in 2050. The current halal product supply is only enough to meet more or less 20 percent of the world halal demand. Furthermore, the whole of the Muslim population currently consumes an estimated US$265 billion worth of halal foods a year. What is interesting is that the spending power of Muslims is increasing. According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2014-2015 report by Thomson Reuters, the global expenditure of Muslim consumers on food and lifestyle grew 9.5 percent from the previous year’s estimate to US$2 trillion in 2013 and is expected to reach US$3.7 trillion by 2019. Simply put, this is a growing yet gravely undersupplied market, making it a mouth-watering prospect for many the world’s halal producers. Asean countries, both the Muslim and non-Muslim majorities, have jumped into the bandwagon. While Malaysia and Thailand continue to establish themselves as two of the world’s main halal kitchens, other countries in the region have also started to pull up their sleeves. Singapore has been building its halal brand through product development

Update Date : 09/06/2016

Tanjung Manis Halal Hub can be China’s stepping stone into Asean market

August 24, 2016, Wednesday Tanjung Manis Halal Hub can be China’s stepping stone into Asean market XI’AN, China: Sarawak can complement efforts of China’s halal industry players to expand into the Asean market and beyond by tapping into the strategic Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) in the state. Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this in a meeting with business leaders from the timber and halal food industry in Xian yesterday. “This could be your stepping stone into the Asean market in the Asean Business Community which has a population of 625 million,” he said. Awang Tengah is leading the state’s delegation on an investment promotion mission to China, starting in Xian where they meet business and industry leaders to establish ties for prospective economic cooperation and collaboration. Among those at the meeting were Xiao Nan, (Minister of E-Commerce) of Shaanxi Halal Food Chamber of Commerce, Xi’an Muslim Chamber of Commerce and furniture and halal food industry players in Xian. The association represents some 2,000 companies in the halal food industry in China. Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) is a specially designated zone aimed at tapping the lucrative global halal food market, and can serve the demand of Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries in the vicinity. Malaysia has been spearheading the halal industry and being a pioneer in halal certification, Malaysia ensures the integrity of halal products and services through strict compliance with Syariah requirements whilst still being business focused. According to the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub Master Plan approved by the Sarawak state government on March 25, 2015, the total area of TMHH is 124,517 hectares, out of which 89,753 hectares are still available for investment in various halal products. It is the largest among all the other halal hubs or parks in Malaysia and earmarked for the nucleus development of manufacturing, processing, aquaculture, agricultu

Update Date : 09/06/2016

World Halal Fair curtains open today

BANGKOK, July 30 - World Halal Fair kicks off today after former Secretary of Asean, Surin Pitsuwan expressed about the halal food industry will help create greater economic opportunity. World Halal Fair opening ceremony was chaired by one of Thailand's Muslim leader, Aziz Pitakkhumpol than Surin Pitsuwan also gave the opening speech. Surin stressed the importance of halal food industry because it will help provide great economic benefit to Thailand as the world community has started using these products. Party World Halal 2016 which was organized for the first time with the theme color of the Muslim World in collaboration with the Trade Association of Thai Muslims and Embassy of Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. The event, which lasts for three days starting today aims to share knowledge and understanding of the Islamic world in terms of food, culture and way of life from around the world. Among the activities organized during the festival include halal food exhibition, tourism and related services as well as panel discussions and seminars by experts. - BERNAMA - See more at:

Update Date : 08/18/2016

Malaysia, Indonesia yes to more comprehensive trade, investment collaborations

JAKARTA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's presence at the just-concluded back-to-back meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, as well as other heads of state here, is timely in view of the excellent progress in bilateral relations and current developments in the region and the global fora. The discussions between both Najib and Widodo, fondly known as Jokowi, would definitely further strengthen Malaysia's and Indonesia's commitments towards a more comprehensive collaborations in trade and investment. Thus, it is equally important for Malaysia and Indonesia not to let any petty issues raised by certain quarters to sour ties between them but instead further work to strengthen the already-closed bilateral ties. It is clear that relations between the two nations are unique and vital as the people of both countries are like one big family who share the same history, border, language and culture. And these similarities should be an important factor to strengthen unity and cooperation between both countries. Both countries shared the view that bilateral ties should be nurtured, encouraged and made more relevant in tandem with the local and international environment. To this end, during the 11th Malaysia-Indonesia Annual Consultation, both leaders welcomed the outcome of the 14th Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), which was held in Kuala Lumpur in October 2015. The JCBC has been an effective mechanism to review the state of bilateral relations and further explore new potential areas of cooperation for the continued welfare of the people of both countries. "Both leaders underscored the commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as to intensify efforts in addressing the challenges in the region," said Najib, who is also Finance Minister, in a joint statement released after the annual consultation. He said relevant officials had been tasked to further seek ways and means to achieve the bilateral trade target of US$30 billion (R

Update Date : 08/18/2016

Grooming local traders into global

Nurturing talent: Mustapa (right) presenting a certificate of participation to Maaye founder Syed Nabil Al Jeffri (second from right) during the Asean Export Champions programme launch at Pondok Moden Bukit Bunga in Jeli. Looking on is Matrade chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud (left). — Bernama JELI: A programme which will groom 50 local entrepreneurs here into successful global traders has been launched by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti). Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said the incubator prog­ramme called Asean Export Champ­ions would assist rural entrepreneurs in marketing their produce on a global scale. The programme is in collaboration with Matrade and the Malay­sian Association of Asean Young Entrepreneurs (Maaye). “The incubator programme aims to groom entrepreneurs and first-time state level exporters into successful global traders,” Mustapa told reporters after the launch here yesterday. He said all assistance relating to branding marketing and media relations that translates to good export sales will be spearheaded by the agencies. On an unrelated matter, Mustapa said Kelantan had been chosen as a hub for intensive cross-border trading centre with the South Thailand districts of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat that is worth billions of ringgit. He also said the situation was conducive to encourage such activities, especially in the halal industry sectors. “However, we only have one setback, which is the existence of illegal jetties at the border between Thailand and Malaysia that are thwarting the efforts to coordinate the trading activities. “We will organise expositions in Kota Baru to encourage businessmen from both countries to engage in ideas to increase trade in all sectors that will eventually benefit the locals from both countries in terms of economy,” he added. - See more at:

Update Date : 08/18/2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Leading global buyers of palm oil are holding off on mending business

KUALA LUMPUR: Leading global buyers of palm oil are holding off on mending business ties with Malaysian plantation giant IOI Group despite an industry watchdog's decision to reinstate the producer's green certification. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in April withdrew IOI's 'sustainability certification' after allegations the company had illegally chopped down rainforests in Indonesia and planted palm crops on peatland. But earlier this month, it said IOI, one of the world's leading palm producers and traders, had satisfied conditions for the suspension to be lifted, a move that has sparked sharp criticism from environmental groups. Palm oil, used in everything from chocolate to cosmetics, has become one of the world's fastest expanding crops, but the industry has been facing intense pressure over deforestation and methods used to clear land. That has driven many buyers to demand certification of environmentally sound behaviour. Food companies Nestle, Kellogg, Mars Inc and Hersheys, along with healthcare product makers Johnson & Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser told Reuters they had no immediate plans to return to business with IOI despite the latest step by RSPO. Procter and Gamble told Reuters it had ended its relationship with IOI, while Unilever said it was looking into the watchdog's decision. "(We will not change our approach until) we see IOI's upgraded policies enacted, with improvements verified on the ground by an independent group of experts," Nestle said in an emailed statement. IOI officials in Kuala Lumpur said the company remained committed to "engagement with all its stakeholders" and would be "working hard to re-engage with them in the coming weeks and months". "Our focus will now be on the implementation of our commitments, and progress reports detailing delivery against them will be made public on a quarterly basis," said Surina Ismail, its group head of sustainability. Meanwhile, major palm oil trader Cargill Ltd said it was sticking to its decision to suspend business wi

Update Date : 08/15/2016

Fishery chief assures of sufficient seafood stocks

The Fisheries Department assured of no seafood shortage although fishing vessels have docked after the government began to crack down on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as required by the European Union.

Update Date : 07/08/2015

Four Thai students freed by Pakistan officials except for the fifth one

Four Thai students held by Pakistani officials in Pakistan under suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups have been freed but the fifth is still held in custody for further questioning, said Mr Anusit Kunakorn, secretary-general of the National Security Council, on Friday.

Update Date : 07/08/2015

Australian Parliament To Support An Inquiry Into Halal Certification Of Food

Coalition members in Australian Parliament are seeking an inquiry into the way food is certified as halal.

Update Date : 07/06/2015

Jakim To Hold Halal Certification Bodies Convention 2015

Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will organise a convention of Halal Certification Bodies 2015 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), here on March 30, said its director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.

Update Date : 07/06/2015

Fact file: What is halal food?

There have been calls to regulate the halal certification industry in Australia, with politicians picking up on an online campaign against it.

Update Date : 07/06/2015

An Arabism cookbook: Helping refugees to help themselves

Refugees must be empowered to find their own solutions in order to avoid becoming another 'lost generation'.

Update Date : 07/02/2015

Photo Essay: Ramadan in exile

This Ramadan thousands of displaced Iraqis and Syrians are forced to observe the Islamic holy month in refugee camps.

Update Date : 07/01/2015

Saudi prince Alwaleed pledges $32bn to charity

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says his pledge is modelled on The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the US.

Update Date : 07/01/2015