More countries look for ways to secure lucrative halal certification

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Asia Islam Southeast asia

© iStock
© iStock
The Philippines is making its bid to join the world’s US$2.6tr halal export market by aligning its halal accreditation systems and institutions.

According to Ramon Lopez, the trade and industry secretary, a newly launched Halal Board—established under the Philippines Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016—would begin by developing a comprehensive set of strategies on halal certification.

Lopez said a technical working group had been formed to devise rules and regulations that will be implemented by law. Public consultations are expected in October and November, he added.

This is exciting since halal has huge market of 2bn Muslims, and about 10m in the Philippines​,” he said, adding that its value was expected to grow to US$10tr by 2030.

It has become lifestyle products associated with healthy and quality attributes. One of fastest growing consumer segments​,” he said.

Elsewhere, Korea will turn to Malaysia for help with halal accreditation as the country faces increasing demand for certified food products.

That is according to a senior provincial official who said that, with a rising number of Muslim tourist arrivals, his country was “very much in need of Malaysia’s collaboration​” to boost a halal industry that is “still in the infant stage​”.

Earlier this year, the tourism ministry unveiled measures to foster the halal food industry and enhance infrastructure for Muslim travellers. Experts believe Korea’s growing appeal as a destination for Muslims has been fuelled by the increasing popularity of its pop culture.

"The number of tourists from the Middle East has steadily increased with the help of the Korean Wave over the past years​," the ministry said in a release. "We have to enhance the tourism infrastructure to attract more tourists from the Middle East and Southeast Asian nations in the wake of the lifting of sanctions on Iran​.”

Muslim tourist numbers have risen from 540,000 in 2012 to an anticipated 800,000 this year.

The government has said it will work with halal business communities to expand the number of certified foods and restaurants available in the nation.

Currently, only 12 restaurants are officially certified by the Korea Muslim Federation, with eight located in Seoul.

Malaysia’s certification system, handled by Jakim, its Islamic regulator, is being widely used in place of a single unifying standard, which the halal industry continues to lack.

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