KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — The market value of the herbal market in Malaysia is expected to reach RM32 billion next year, with an annual growth of eight to 15 per cent, said the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, said the high market value is due to significant attention from governments and international corporations which invest more for traditional herbal medicine research, making the worldwide annual market worth more than US$60 billion (RM251.1 billion).

“China, India, the United States and the World Health Organisation have made substantial research investments in traditional herbal medicines while 80 per cent of the African population use some form of traditional herbal medicine.

“In this regard, it is our firm belief that research and development is the key factor to further expand the growth of the herbal industry in Malaysia,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Herbal Asia Conference 2019 here today.

The text of his speech was read by the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi.

Mohd Redzuan urged local research institutes, universities as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be involved in and explore the potential market in the herbal industry as continued growth of the industry offers opportunities to the industry players, especially farmers and young entrepreneurs.

The two-day Herbal Asia Conference 2019, which is organised by GITEX Global Exhibition Services (M) Sdn Bhd, showcases the latest herbal, natural and green products as well as services technology.

The conference brings together various herbal industry players such as manufacturers and experts from countries in the region such as Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia as well Uganda, Tonga and Namibia.

In conjunction with the launch, two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed by Herbal Asia — with GoGo Empire Sdn Bhd to create GrabHerbs mobile application as well as with PICOMS International University College who have 1,000 pharmaceutical students who will benefit from the GrabHerbs mobile app.

Founder of Herbal Asia, Safinah Yaakob, said in today’s challenging economy, the conference focused more on the survival of herbal entrepreneurs, in line with the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030.

More importantly, she said, the conference would be able to assist women entrepreneurs and students in grabbing future career opportunities because the herbal products can be created and sold from home and all they need are certified professionals to guide them to tap the market. — Bernama