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Halal accreditation to expand in 2018 to attract more businesses

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Stock photo of a street stall selling halal food. -- GUIAN BOLISAY/CC BY-SA/FLICKR

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it wants to increase the Philippines’ 5% share of the growing global market for halal products via the expansion of accreditation bodies that can certify that food, drink and fashion products comply with Islamic rules.

The department hopes to set up 10 halal accreditation bodies this year,to make it easier to attract more businesses to participate in the halal trade.

Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Abdulgani M. Macatoman said during the World Halal Assembly last week that the halal market is expected to be worth $10 trillion by 2030, from $3.2 trillion currently.

“The Muslim population worldwide has been steadily growing. In 2016 the population was at 2.14 billion, growing to 2.18 billion in 2017,” he said, adding that in the Asia Pacific, the numbers are 1.3 billion by 2030, according to projections by Pew Research.

He said the most marketable Philippine products are dried fruits in markets like the Middle East and parts of Southeast Asia.

The DTI is seeking to make the Zamboanga region a hub for halal products. The region is deemed suitable for such a push because of the potential of its economic zones and freeports, plus the availability of expertise in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with which the Zamboanga region has some territorial overlap.

“The preparation of halal food and apparel requires a great understanding of and obedience to Muslim culture, and we Filipinos have a great grasp of this culture and unique practices,” he added.

The products identified as having potential for developing in the Zamboanga region are rubber, cacao, mangoes and coconut.

The government has development plans for cacao and rubber, while the fruits and nuts industries will be getting a road map to expand production and export activity. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato