The Global Halal Industry in Malaysia and Penang
Malaysia ranks first on Thomson Reuters’ Global Islamic Economy Indicator , particularly in the Halal Food, Islamic Finance and Halal Travel indicators. The importance of Muslim consumers to Malaysia’s external trade is underscored by the size of national halal export values growing from RM23.85bil in 2011 to RM39.39bil in 2015 (Figure 1), making up 4.5% of total export value at the national level.
Globally, Muslim expenditure on food and beverage (F&B) is estimated at US$1,128bil in 2014, growing by 4.3% from US$1,081bil in 2013 and potentially rising to US$1,585bil in 2020. Muslim expenditure makes up 16.7% of global expenditure on F&B in 2014. Malaysia’s external halal F&B sector is of critical importance, as F&B was Malaysia’s top halal export (RM 19.5bil) in 2015, followed by palm oil derivatives (RM11bil) and halal ingredients (RM 5bil) .
Malaysia ranks first on Thomson Reuters’ Halal Travel indicator. Muslim global expenditure on travel is estimated at US$142bil or 11% of global expenditure, and is projected to rise to US$233bil in 2020. Tourism Malaysia data shows growth in visitors from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries  from 2003- 2008, although this has since slowed to close to 4.5mil in 2015 (Figure 2).
As for Penang, the Penang Tourism Survey which records the country of origin of survey respondents was used as a proxy to gauge the importance of Muslim travel to Penang. Visitors from OIC countries
comprised 26.2% of respondents in 2014 and 19.6% of respondents in 2015  , indicating that Muslim visitors form approximately a fifth of Penang’s foreign visitors.
Globally, the Muslim market for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is valued at US$54bil or seven per cent of global expenditure. The cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) for this sector is 6.8% between 2014-2020. Malaysia ranks just behind Singapore and Egypt on this metric.
The Market for Halal
The Muslim proportion of Penang’s population is an indicator of the size of the halal market in Penang. Muslims make up 700,000 of Penang’s population of 1.56mil in 2010, and while the state has a smaller percentage of Muslims (44.6%) as a share of its population compared to Malaysia (61.3%), it is no less significant (Figure 3).
Apart from Brunei, Malaysia is the only other country in the world in which the government regulates the halal certification , which is the responsibility of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia ( Jakim). Jakim issues halal certificates and enforces halal-related guidelines. The Malaysian halal certification scheme includes food products; beverages or food supplements; food premises or hotels; consumer goods; cosmetics and personal care; slaughterhouses; pharmaceuticals; and logistics .
The number of certifications doubled, tripled or quadrupled for all sectors except pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and logistics from 2008 to 2009 (Figure 5), and this is reflected in the year-on-year growth rate for all certification classes of 200% in 2008/2009 (Figure 6). The strongest growth observed for halal certification in this data is for consumer goods, which at least doubled year-on-year from 2009-2012.