In this seminar, Dr Anggito Abimanyu and Dr Raeef Abdullah Al Tamimi presented their findings on intra-industry trade in Indonesian halal products among ASEAN nations. Using quantitative data, the speakers examined various ways to increase the trade of Indonesia’s halal products in the region.
Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme and Regional Economic Studies Programme Seminar
Thursday, 12th October 2023 — ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute held a hybrid seminar on “Intra-Trade of Indonesian Halal Food Products within ASEAN”. Moderated by Dr Siwage Dharma Negara (Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute), the seminar featured Dr Anggito Abimanyu’s and Dr Raeef Abdullah Al Tamimi’s findings on the trade of Indonesian halal food products between ASEAN nations. The seminar drew approximately 70 online and in-person participants consisting of researchers and academics, diplomats, students, and policymakers.
Dr Anggito began the presentation with a brief history of the regulation of halal products in Indonesia. He stated that the first regulation of halal products was established in the 1960s. This was followed by a halal lab which was established in 1989 to assist in determining the halalness of products and to issue halal certificates. Following the 2006 “Indonesia Halal Product Assurance” programme to enhance the quality and safety of halal products, another milestone came in 2014 when Law No.33 on Halal Product Assurance was enacted to regulate halal certification and mandated that all food and beverage producers comply with established halal standards. More specifically, Article 4 of the law reads that “products entering, circulating and traded in Indonesian territory must be halal certified”. The law covers products in the industries of food and beverage, fashion, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, travel and tourism, and media and recreation.
Moving on to the global halal market, Dr Anggito shared data from the Global Islamic Economy Indicator and highlighted that while Malaysia has the highest score in contributing to the global halal market, Indonesia has the second largest halal economy in the region. Overall, halal products have led to new business opportunities in Indonesia and the wider ASEAN region and have led to a global trade and consumption phenomenon.
Dr Raeef then explained that the term “halal” does not only refer to something that is lawful or permissible, but also something that is healthy, beneficial, and beautiful. In conducting a systematic literature review in the last five years, he shared that there has been little investigation into the topic of intra-trade of halal products within ASEAN. Dr Raeef therefore said that it is crucial that such research be conducted, so as to encourage the growth of intra-trade among ASEAN nations.
Finally, Dr Anggito shared that Indonesia and Malaysia have an agreement that their halal products can be circulated in one another’s economies without the need to re-issue local halal certification. Both speakers therefore emphasised that it would be more economically efficient if all ASEAN nations were to have such an agreement with one another. Other recommendations included the expansion of market diversification for halal food products, strengthening the specialization of halal food products, and ensuring the harmonization of regulations within ASEAN.
The seminar concluded with a Question-and-Answer segment that addressed various themes such as capitalistic ventures within the halal industry, trade barriers and harmonization, and the cost of halal certification procedures. Further questions were asked about expanding the definition of halal to address food security and environmental concerns, as well as ensuring the legitimacy of halal production processes.