Korea to seek permission to begin halal exports to UAE
Seoul announced last week that it will also ask Indonesian authorities to acknowledge products endorsed by the Korea Muslim Federation, to bring its authorisation in line with neighbours Malaysia and Singapore.
"We are seeking a cross-certification of local halal certificates in the UAE and Indonesia by the end of this year, and to launch an aggressive marketing campaign for South Korean halal foods," the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.
Two years ago Seoul agreed to adopt the UAE certification at the opening of a Korea-UAE trade office in Abu Dhabi.
"The UAE halal certification programme will be introduced in Korea. I hope Korean agricultural produce will be popular in the UAE in the near future,” said Kwon Hae-ryong, South Korea’s ambassador.
Korea’s president had earlier signed an agreement on agricultural cooperation and halal food cooperation with the UAE, which imports some 90% of its food.
The country has been exploring new export markets “as shipments to China and Japan have been adversely affected by political and diplomatic developments,” the ministry added.
Though South Korea’s agricultural exports to Japan, China and America accounted for 45% of its total exports last year, recent Chinese demand has dropped sharply amid a row over the country’s deployment of an American missile defence system on its soil.
The nation is also concerned that its business with America could decline in light of concerns that President Trump could revoke a Korea-US free-trade agreement, which he dubbed a job-killing deal.
Korean agriculture exports to the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference grew by 8.8% to US$913m last year, accounting for 14% of all shipments in the segment, according to the agriculture ministry.