Speaking to VOC, Wesgro International Trade Manager for Asia, Ché Smith explains that the event is aimed at promoting halal certified products, which are not isolated to food products in the agro-processing sector, but extends to halal tourism and even financial services.

In addition, the expo will showcase the fact that South Africa is a destination for halal products and services.

“Contrary to popular belief, people don’t think South Africa and the Western Cape has Muslim society.

“[So] the key aim we want is to showcase that we have world-class standard services here in the halal industry,” Smith states.

Smith says that there has been positive growth in the market, particularly in the Asia and Middle East regions.

“The second thing is to provide our Western Cape companies to see that there are a lot of advantages in entering the [halal industry], especially the export market.”

“About a month ago we had an outward sailing mission to Senegal and we signed over a R100 million on valued deals and that just shows you the interest and demands for the products.”

Given the fact that this is the first time that an event of this nature will be taking place, he says the event will set the pretext for future events of this nature.

“We are hoping to continue this next year and if it is successful we are going to consider having the first halal exhibition on the African continent here in the Western Cape,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Wesgro CEO Tim Harris says more workshops on Wesgro’s “inward/outward missions” are scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

“We have even more workshops and inward/outward missions to key halal markets lined up over the next financial year, and in the first quarter of 2018 will host the first African Halal Expo in Cape Town so we encourage Cape business of all sizes to contact us to access these opportunities.”

Companies interested in participating in next month’s exhibition can contact che@wesgro.co.za.