A Malaysian halal industry expert called on his country and China to work closely in developing the vast halal market worldwide. The general manager of Malaysian Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) for Strategic Planning and Monitoring, Syaifulzafni Aziz, said China, with its very strong agriculture industry, and Malaysia, with its expertise, experience and technology in the halal industry and poised to be a global halal hub by 2020, could use their respective advantages to develop the global halal market together. “This is very critical, as products can be supplied in a consistent manner,” he said in a speech at a sub-forum themed China-Malaysia Halal Food and Muslim Commodities Certification and Industrial Cooperation last week. Syaifulzafni pointed out that the halal market is growing tremendously in Malaysia and globally, with the annual value of the halal market reaching US$2.3 trillion (RM8.7 trillion) worldwide. The two countries can also leverage on the global gap between supply and demand for halal products, which is currently expanding at about 80 percent, he said. Malaysia, with 11 laboratories to conduct testing and analysis of halal products, is the only country in the world with the government's support in halal product development, while the country's halal products certified by Jakim are also recognized and well-accepted worldwide, he said. Malaysia also offers vast opportunities in the halal industry, he said, citing the country's 23 halal parks where the government provides incentives to attract halal parks operators and logistic players.