The Philippines is seeking to boost its Halal exports to the Middle East to reach USD 30 million in 2009, with primary focus on the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and KSA markets, which collectively accounted for USD 18 billion or more than 70 per cent of the total Arab farm imports in 2008. In line with this, the Filipino delegation to ‘Halal Expo 2009’, the definitive event for ‘Halal’ industry in the region, is set to maximise the opportunities within global exposition to reach the country’s USD 400 million annual export target for ‘Halal’ goods.
According to recent reports, trade between the six GCC economies and the Philippines has jumped by around 20 per cent in 2008. This is fuelling the interest of Philippine-based manufacturers of ‘Halal’ products, with the Islamic Da'wah Council of the Philippines, the only Halal-certification body in the country, expressing its confidence to hit the ‘Halal’ export goals this year. Slated to run from November 10 - 12, 2009 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, ‘Halal Expo 2009’ is set to host more than 200 brands from 34 countries and is expected to be 100 per cent bigger than its previous edition.
“Given the food supply requirement and high per capita income of these leading GCC nations, we have identified the tremendous opportunity in tapping into their burgeoning demand for ‘Halal’ products,” said Jose Ma.S. Dinsay, Commercial Attaché, Philippine Trade and Investment Centre, UAE. “In line with this, we are taking significant efforts aimed at increasing our ‘Halal’ exports, including the establishment of a local body to certify products and ensure that they meet stringent ‘Halal’ requirements. We are confident that our participation at ‘Halal Expo 2009’ will further drive our efforts to fully penetrate the region’s Halal market.”
At present, the Halal food market constitutes some 12 per cent of the global trade in food products, and by 2025, it is forecasted that this figure will reach 20 per cent as Muslims are expected to account for 30 per cent of the world's population. Amidst the projected massive growth in demand, the Philippines is set to play a bigger role in supplying ‘Halal’ goods - particularly food products - with Gulf oil producers looking at plans to invest in farming projects in the Philippines. The Philippine Trade and Investment Center is also expecting that the Filipino delegation’s presence at the ‘Halal Expo 2009’ will broaden its network among regional customers.
“Acting upon the Philippine Government’s strong desire to expand relations with the GCC economies in terms of trade, economy, investment and other sectors, the Philippine Trade and Investment Center has identified the excellent prospects in participating at ‘Halal Expo 2009’. The extensive presence of major Halal importers and buyers at the event will definitely complement the Filipino delegation’s aims to create business, joint ventures and partnerships to further grow its Halal exports to the region,” concluded Raees Ahmed, Director, Orange Fairs and Events.
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