Bangladesh: Move to export halal food to UAE

By Talha bin Habib – The Financial Express

The government has taken a move to export safe, halal food and meat to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.

The ministry of fisheries and livestock (MoFL) through the ministry of foreign affairs has recently sent a list of local companies involved in the business to the UAE authorities concerned.

“The list contains the names of the local companies and their capacities for exporting the items,” MoFL secretary Rawnak Mahmud told the FE last week.

He further said that the interested companies of the UAE could now directly contact with the local companies for importing safe, halal food, meat and beverage items from Bangladesh.

The move came in response to the interest showed last year by the UAE state minister for food safety affairs Maryam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehri during her meeting with the state minister for MoFLAshraf Ali Khan Khasru.

During the meeting, the UAE junior minister observed that Bangladesh has a huge prospect to export safe, halal food including meat and beverages to the Middle East and Gulf countries, said an official at the MoFL.

Despite having a good potential, Bangladesh is yet to penetrate the markets of the UAE and other Gulf countries with its halal food, meat and beverage items, according to the sector insiders.

The entrepreneurs in the sector urged the government to provide necessary policy supports, including providing with universal halal certificate and taking favourable initiatives so that Bangladesh could grab a portion of the markets.

A handful of local companies are engaged with exporting safe, halal meat to some Middle East and Gulf countries.

Halal food is considered not only the largest but also the most diverse sector of the Islamic economy.

The global halal F&B industry will grow to nearly $1.9 trillion by 2021, and more countries are joining the bandwagon, according to sources.

In the UAE, the halal products are prepared for domestic consumption or for export and re-export to various countries around the world.

South Korea, for instance, has made remarkable progress in about six years, and now exports halal food products to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, besides Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran.