Southeast Asian Countries Urged To Jointly Market Halal Products

Asian countries competing to promote their halal products in the
international markets should join hands instead of trying to outdo each
other, a halal conference was told today.

Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) chief executive officer
Datuk Jamil Bidin said they should be united so as to position
themselves as a global player or else they will face an uphill battle
to penetrate the world halal market if each goes its own way.

at the HalalAsia Business Seminar held in conjunction with the
inaugural two-day Singapore International Halal Showcase here, he said
some of the countries are trying to promote themselves as top
international and regional halal hubs.

said proponents of halal products in the region like Malaysia,
Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines should work smart to
tap the vast halal markets in Europe, the Middle East, the United
States and China.

said the European Union, with over 460 million people of whom about 20
million are Muslims, offers a tremendous market for halal products
especially food as they are embracing a more international lifestyle.

identified supermarkets and restaurants as the best conduits for the
introduction and consumption of halal products in Europe with shelves
being well-stocked with food and drinks manufactured in Asia bearing
the halal logo.

said well-known supermarket chains like Carrefour, Tesco, Sainsbury and
Aidi are dedicating separate shelf space for private labels as their
marketing strategy to offer consumers choice Asian products.

pointed out that the Middle East, having some of the wealthiest Islamic
countries with over 35 million people, presents great opportunities for
halal products and other related businesses such as the halal meat
processing industry.

said the Middle East countries import halal meat in excess of one
million metric tonnes a year and the irony is that the exporters are
non-Muslim countries such as Australia and Brazil.

for the U.S., Jamil said the market for halal products there is huge as
the current U.S. market is being dominated by kosher products with a
ratio of one halal product to 85 kosher products.

He named China with over a billion people of which 30 million are Muslims is another good market for halal products.

also said halal products should be re-branded as too much emphasis is
being placed on the pitch that halal products are religious products
which can only be consumed by Muslims.

he said, halal products should be promoted as having high quality, safe
and with clean features apart from being syariah compliant.