Taiwan hosts Halal food market forum

JEDDAH – Halal products continue to generate international interest of investors, suppliers and producers.

At the “Exploring the Muslim Food Market Forum 2009? held at the
sidelines of Kaohsiung Food Show 2009, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, participants
focused on the details of quality, standards and marketing, aligned
with the most active players such as Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei,
Singapore, Turkey and now UAE.

Alex Andarakis, chief executive officer of Al Islami Foods, an award
winning Halal producer in the Middle East, deliberated on these issues
as the guest speaker at the Forum.

The exhibition opened on Nov.5 and will end today (Sunday).

The Southeast Asian producers are vying over $2.1 trillion and
growing Halal food market in 185 countries and working out on long-term
plans to enter more than 1.8 billion Muslim market.

The show is jointly organized by TAITRA (the Taiwan External Trade
Development Council) and Kaohsiung City Marine Bureau under the
auspices of the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs.

TAITRA said in a statement that “THE Kaohsiung Food Show has
succeeded in arousing the interest of international buyers that come
from nations as diverse as Malaysia, Canada, US, Australia, Japan,
Singapore and Oman.”

“This years show has a special guest speaker from the Middle Easts
halal food industry, Alex Andarakis, CEO at Al Islami Foods. We short-
listed Al Islami due to its leading position in regional halal food
market. Alex provided great insight into the growing Halal food
industry,” it said.

The food show featured fresh fruits, agricultural products, meat and
dairy products, fish products, condiments, frozen and processed
products, dehydrated food stuffs, beverages, confectionaries, cookies,
health foods, leisure foods, tableware, personal food and machinery.

TAITRA is playing a leading role in the South-East-Asia region in
developing the Halal market and supported Taiwan emerging as a new
player looking to invest in this fast growing market.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan, realizing the
substantial Halal potential, has put concerted efforts to tap into this
lucrative Islamic Shariah compliant market to fetch its share from over
$2.1 trillion market annually. These efforts include patronizing the
Halal events, encouraging suppliers to look into supplying to Halal
market, activating Taiwan Trade Center within the Muslim markets.

The expo, which has become South Taiwans largest food show in just
three years, offered a much needed boost to the consumer-challenged
economy of the SEA region while helping manufactures to test the
foreign waters for additional business opportunities. Taiwan is one of
the worlds top-20 exporting countries and has a good reputation for its
food products – meat, fruits, vegetables and drinks. In 2008, Taiwans
food exports totaled $2.7 billion, TAITRA said.

There are over 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, or a quarter of the
world population. The annual production value of Halal food is
estimated at $600 billion a year and is growing. – SG