(Reuters) – Bangladesh will soon start exporting halal food after Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development approved the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFB) as a halal certification body, a business leader said on Saturday.
“It is good news for us as we have been pursuing for such an approval authority in Bangladesh,” said Syed Moazzam Hossain, president of Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He told Reuters that Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development had also included it in the list of halal certification bodies worldwide, meaning Bangladesh could take a slice of the $661 billion global market for halal food, which is prepared following Islamic dietary laws and regulations.
World Halal Forum data shows the halal food market has grown fast over the past decade and is now worth an estimated $661.6 billion a year, representing almost 17 percent of the global food industry.
Jalal Ahmed, vice chairman of the state-run Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau , said Bangladesh could earn a huge amount of foreign currency from halal food exports.
The largest contributors to the halal food market in Asia are Indonesia, China, India, Malaysia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council members including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Jalal said that five Bangladeshi companies who had already received orders from abroad to supply halal food so far had not been able to export due to the lack of certification.
Moazzam said some companies had already signed contracts with Malaysian importers to supply halal food. (Reporting by Serajul Islam Quadir) (Created by Serajul Quadir)