Neda Urges Private Firms to go into Halal Food Production

THE National Economic
and Development Authority (Neda) urged the private sector to explore
prospects of going into halal food production, which is also in step
with the goals set in the updated Medium-Term Philippine Development
Plan (MTPDP).

a statement, Neda Acting Director General Augusto Santos explained that
halal products are food and non-food items that are sanctioned under
Islamic law as “ritually fit” to be sold or served to Muslims.

said that in the MTPDP, Mindanao is envisioned to be the center for
halal food production, with the intention of tapping the emerging
export markets for halal food products.

are encouraging the Philippine private sector to find out if there are
opportunities for Philippine businesses to go into the global halal
market,” Santos said during the recent visit of new Pakistan Ambassador
to the Philippines Mohsin Razi in Neda.

said Pakistan is the second- largest Muslim country in the world, and
as such, one of the potential markets for the export of halal products.

his visit, Razi expressed his government’s desire to be a full dialogue
partner with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and reiterated
Pakistan’s support for the Philippines’ bid to become an observer in
the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

added that the 17-member delegation of the Bishops-Ulama Conference
(BUC) will visit Pakistan this week, upon the invitation of President
Asif Ali Zardari, to learn about the country’s peace process and how
these could be done in Mindanao.

BUC, which was tapped by the Philippine government to spearhead a
civil-society initiative for peace and development in Mindanao, is
composed of Mindanao members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines, Ulama League of the Philippines and the National Council
of Churches of the Philippines.

said the Philippines and Pakistan were among the first countries to
establish foreign relations in 1949. Both countries are also known in
the international community for their approaches toward achieving peace
and development through interfaith dialogue.