In a groundbreaking convergence of industry insights, the Asia International Hemp Expo & Forum 2023, hosted at the esteemed Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) in Bangkok, Thailand, became the epicenter of advancements in the hemp sector from the 22nd to the 25th of November 2023. Notably, the Malaysia Hemptech Industrial Research Association (MHIRA) took center stage, offering an illuminating perspective into the burgeoning hemp industry.
The Asia International Hemp Expo, now in its second edition, stands as Asia’s premier trade exhibition for the hemp industry. This annual showcase, held from the 22nd to the 25th of November 2023, illuminated the forefront of hemp technology, materials, and equipment. The primary focus was on cultivation, extraction, and processing, with a strategic emphasis on establishing collaboration in the industry. The event facilitated essential business negotiations, encompassing the entire hemp supply chain from upstream to downstream, and provided a fertile ground for exploring potential export channels.
At the heart of this vibrant event, MHIRA’s President, Mr. Johan Mohamad, actively engaged in the “Asian Hemp Talk: Cooperation for a Better Future” forum on the second day of the event, the 23rd of November. The forum gathered illustrious panelists, including Mr. Michael Bobrove, Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Japan Industrial Cannabis; Mr. Pornchai Padmindra, President of the Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association (TIHTA) and CEO of Dr. CBD Co Ltd; and Mr. Paul Benhaim, Chairman & Founder of The Hemp Plastic Company and Founder & Director of Elixinol Wellness.
During the forum, Mr. Pornchai Padmindra shared profound insights into the expanding opportunities within the hemp industry, especially in the medical and health business segment. Emphasizing the global support for the Wellness Economy trend, Mr. Padmindra highlighted the growing recognition of hemp’s potential across various industries, aligning harmoniously with the bio-based economy approach.
Of particular note were the regulatory shifts in Europe and Asia, unlocking new possibilities for hemp in medicine and health promotion. Leading nations like Germany and Italy are spearheading the use of hemp in treatment and agriculture. In Asia, Japan’s legalization of CBD products, while controlling THC content, has sparked a thriving market with over 200 CBD product brands.
Beyond being a platform for exhibitions, the expo played host to the Asia International Hemp Forum 2023, where over 40 industry expert speakers from 15 countries delved into 14 crucial topics under the theme “HEMP FOR CHANGE.” This encompassed discussions on the global state of the hemp industry, regional requirements, product directions, hemp innovation, and regulations governing CBD and THC products.
Crucially, MHIRA’s participation at the Asia International Hemp Expo & Forum 2023 coincided seamlessly with the HSC Executive Tour 4.0, held from the 20th to the 23rd of November. This tour featured active participation from government officials representing Bahagian Hal Ehwal Undang-Undang (BHEUU), Jabatan Perdana Menteri. Participants in the HSC Tour had the unique opportunity to tour the expo grounds and visit the MHIRA booth, which showcased natural fiber and industrial hemp products.
MHIRA, through its dynamic participation, aims to position Malaysia as the leading producer and distributor of advanced materials products. These products, primarily sourced from sustainable hemp resources, are envisioned to supplement key industries such as building materials, automotive, aerospace, and high-tech manufacturing. The strategic synergy between MHIRA, government officials, and industry participants underscores Malaysia’s proactive stance in fostering growth and sustainability within the global hemp industry. As the industry continues its evolution, MHIRA’s contributions serve as a beacon guiding Malaysia toward a promising and innovative future.