Pakistan: Pakistan seeks Halal products market in Middle East

DUBAI — The Pakistan government is drafting a bill to give a better exposure to Pakistan’s exports by fulfilling the requirements of the consumers of trillion dollar halal products and services sector who comprise of one fourth of world’s population.

The bill, called “Bill of Halal Certification”, is being prepared by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, or TDAP, in consultation with all stakeholders. Once ready, it would be tabled before the National Assembly to be made a law, Asad Sajjad, Secretary-General and CEO of Pakistan’s newly formed Halal Development Council, or HDC, said in an interview with Khaleej Times during a short visit to Dubai.

Halal Development Council is the only NGO in Pakistan dedicated to the development of halal economy. It is registered with the government to facilitate the suppliers and exporters by providing platform for Halal awareness, compliance, standards, certification, branding, marketing, research, trade development, updates, investment promotion and Halal industry development.

It made its mark by organising the first Global Halal Congress in Karachi last month jointly with co-organiser, TDAP, which was attended by more than 28 representatives from International Halal certification bodies, scientists and prominent figures from 17 countries.

With the theme, ‘Discover Pakistan’s Halal Potential’, the congress aimed at introducing the country to the leading halal industry experts, global halal agenda promoters and international halal certifiers.

Asad said that the Congress turned out to be the launching pad of a new International Halal Movement which will not only serve as the binding force for Muslim countries but will also promote Halal quality products (including food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics) and services (including financial services and hospitality) for the Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world unveiling the huge potential and infinite opportunities of this industry.

He said that next Global Halal Congress with an added Halal Expo would be held in Lahore next year.

“Pakistan has great potential to become the halal hub of the region due to its geo-economic position. It has direct access to millions of halal consumers in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Central Asia,” Asad said.

He said that the Pakistan government fully supports the cause of halal movement and entering into the world Halal market. He said that in order to promote exports of halal meat and poultry, the Ministry of Livestock has initiated Rs1.5 billion project to enhance livestock production in Pakistan and to encourage the export of halal meat, the government has declared machinery for slaughter houses as duty free.

“Despite being a major Muslim country, Pakistan is not known to the world as a supplier of Certified Halal products and thus its share in this trillion dollar global Halal business is negligible,” Asad said.

He said that Pakistan’s strength is a 100 per cent Halal production base from a Muslim country, with over 170 million consumers within Pakistan and a direct access to a grand total of 470 million halal consumers in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Middle East.

He said that the Halal brand is globally recognised as a symbol of good quality product, so non-Muslims also buy the products with the halal logo. There is a rapid increase in the international demand for halal products, especially in Europe where large population belongs to Muslims emigrants.

“This has to be propagated to the halal agenda promoters globally to strategise how to take advantage of Pakistan’s strength for the development of halal trade in Pakistan, the OIC countries and the world,” he said.

Promotion of halal certified food and services would open up new vistas for Pakistan’s exports, he said, adding that halal food and services have to be made tasty, pleasant and nice-looking with no chemicals to attract consumers the world over.

Giving details on the achievements of the Congress, Asad said that the participating countries, in addition to Pakistan, included Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, Mauritius, Turkey, Iran, New Zealand, Switzerland, US, UK, Poland, Italy, France, Germany and Bosnia.

He said the HDC signed 12 MoUs with International Halal certification bodies, research centres and scientific laboratories for the development and promotion of halal economy. They will also support in mainstreaming of Halal products and services to compete in the global market.

“HDC will continue its efforts to create awareness in Pakistan regarding the power of Halal brand and awareness in the world regarding Pakistan’s potential to supply Halal certified products and services to the world,” Asad said.