Thai trade authorities are working closely with local food manufacturers to set up a halal food industrial estate in the south of the country, a region with a large Muslim population.
The estate would cater for both local and the growing global halal food business, Chareef Yimyai, international business promotion officer at the Board of Trade of Thailand told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The global halal food industry is pegged at US$2.1 trillion, according to Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation.
Yimyai said: “We will be working with local businesses as well as Halal institutes to develop the halal food manufacturing base here. We are keen to offer halal Thai food to the Middle East, Malaysia and other Muslim countries.”
The trade board hopes to encourage food companies of all sizes to develop food processing of popular Thai cuisine in that area, he said.
“We want to help food manufacturers and provide them with market information and opportunities as well as educate them on halal food processing techniques.”
Businesses will also be helped in acquiring investment loans, guided in land development and utilisation, as well as other logistical issues.
The industrial park will be located in Thailand’s southern province of Pattani.
Approximately 10% of Thailand’s population reside in the southern Thailand provinces that also include Yala, Narathiawuat and Satun.
Yimyai said that the estate would take shape in two years time and that the hub would be able to benefit from the formation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community in 2015.
Local entrepreneurs are already in discussion with the Thai Chamber of Commerce as well as the National Economic and Social Development Board, about how best to develop the estate.