Brunei eyeing halal products from Mindanao

THE potential of Mindanao as source of Halal products for the Halal
Brand Project of Brunei Darussalam can virtually change the landscape
of the island-region.

Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) 2009 chair and president of the Philippine
Exporters’ Confederation (PhilExport)-Southern Mindanao Ann T.
Pamintuan said although the Halal Brand of Brunei Darussalam is already
in place, it does not have products that can be marketed worldwide.

Dubbed as Brunei Halal Brand, it is a government project initiated
by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, along with the
cooperation of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, Ministry of
Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health.

The establishment of the Brunei Halal Brand is in line with Brunei’s
aggressive effort with the Islamic nation moving towards developing
diversified, competitive and sustainable economy.

Halal is an Arabic word that means lawful, permitted, or acceptable.
The word can refer to food, things (such as cosmetics, personal care
products, and food contact materials), manners or actions allowed by
God for mankind and enjoined upon by believers of Islam (Muslims). As
such, Halal has evolved to be a quality standard.

“They are now looking for partners who can provide them with Halal
products. With that, Mindanao can get so much opportunity since we can
be their potential producer and supplier of Halal products,” she said.

The project website, [3],
said: “This project gives opportunity for investment both inside and
outside the country whilst strengthening bilateral ties between Brunei
Darussalam with its partnering countries through the Halal
certification and branding services, offering joint-venture opportunity
and Foreign Direct Investment.”

Moreover, the website said that “through the Brunei Halal Brand,
Brunei Darussalam has set sights in becoming one of the major players
of the Halal industry globally, both in terms of Halal food production
and certification, with the sheer aim of catering Halal food including
other Halal products of premium quality for Muslim population

Pamintuan said Mindanao, being the official member of the country in
the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean
Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga), has a competitive advantage since bilateral
ties are already in place.

“Since Brunei and Mindanao are already partners in terms of economic
development, it will be easier for us to partner with them in this
particular project. We just need to adopt the right marketing
strategies in order to capture a share of the huge global Halal market
estimated to be at $580 billion to $1.2 trillion,” she said.

Pamintuan said that if Mindanao partners with Brunei Darusssalam,
there’s no doubt they can penetrate the 1.5 to 1.8 billion Muslim
consumers spread in over 100 countries globally.

To further understand the opportunities being offered by the Halal
Brand of Brunei Darussalam, Pamintuan urged everyone to attend the
Exporters’ Forum slated on August 13 and 14 at the mini-theater of the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in Davao City.

“The Minister of Trade of Brunei Darussalam is coming over to
personally discuss about this latest initiative of their country. With
this, participants of the forum will definitely get the chance to
appreciate the project more and even snitch the opportunity to do
business with the said country,” Pamintuan ended.

The forum is among the highlights of the MTE 2009. It is
co-organized by the PhilExport-Southern Mindanao and supported by the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA),
Export Development Council (EDC), Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM)
Program, Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco), City Government
of Davao, and Apo View Hotel.