The World Halal Conference 2018 is a two-day forum gathering 1,000 delegates from more than 50 countries to discuss and deliberate the way forward for the global Halal economy. The conference was opened on the first day by Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, and it also featured a special address on the second day by HRH Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Sultan of Perak on the subject of internationalisation of the Islamic economy. There was a total of six panel sessions with more than 20 participating roleplayers covering topics from Islamic economy as a game-changer, emerging global trends and implications to Malaysia's Halal industry, Halal and science, branding and marketing, as well as a ministerial panel session on opportunities and challenges of the Halal industry within ASEAN. In addition, there was an appreciation dinner held on the first day of the conference with seven awards being presented to honour and recognise both individuals and organisations that have demonstrated exceptional contribution to the development of the Halal industry.
Some of the key points raised at the conference include the need for Halal industry stakeholders to go beyond food and finance, and to embrace and advocate for Halal products and services as a lifestyle. There were also ample discussions given to the role of innovation and game-changing initiatives, both from the businesses and policymakers, to internationalise Halal products and services. To support innovation, there were also several mentions for Halal industry players to form partnerships around the globe as well as to work towards the formation of a single international Halal logo and standard. Lastly, in particular to foreign panellists, several points were highlighted to balance the need for Halal industry players to observe Halal and Islamic requirements with practical needs for branding and marketing. This focus is particularly important to communicate the intention behind the development of Halal products and services not just to cater to Muslims, but also the entire mankind who is increasingly demanding for safe, ethical, and environmentally-sustainable consumption.