UAE: High-level Japanese trade team visits UAE

Dubai – A high-level team of government officials and business persons from Japan this week visited Al Islami , the leading Halal food company in the Middle East, to explore collaboration on stepping up Halal practices in their country. The 65-member delegation expressed their keenness to know more about Halal economy and appreciated Al Islami’s efforts towards building a strong Halal economy in the region.

His Excellency Hideto Akiba, Director-General, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
His Excellency Hideto Akiba, Director-General, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Led by His Excellency Hideto Akiba, Director-General, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Hokkaido Bureau), the delegation has met the region’s leaders involved in the halal industry – including food production, banking, logistics, tourism, research and development and financial products. The guests comprised of government officials, senior bankers, food industry authorities and top-notch entrepreneurs.

The delegation visited the offices of Al Islami Foods where they were briefed about Halal food production and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the UAE as the capital of the world Halal economy. Later, Al Islami officials and members of the delegation focused on areas of mutual interest and identified methods of joint collaboration.

“The profile of Halal has been growing throughout the world and an increasing number of non-Muslim countries are looking at ways to introduce or implement Halal procedures in their economies,” said Aziz Iraqi, Commercial Director at Al Islami Food Company. ” Al Islami is a keen advocate of Halal food consumption and we believe that collaboration with countries such as Japan is the way forward towards spreading the Halal message throughout the world.”

The Japanese delegation was briefed about Al Islami’s strict quality standards in food production, along with the fact that the meat was sourced exclusively from farms where the real halal process of no-stunning and hand slaughtering was followed.

Japan’s increasing interest about Halal and the expected huge flow of tourist from countries in the Middle East and South East Asian Countries in Olympics 2020, is expected to lead to a vast demand for Halal products. As part of its endeavor to promote the Halal trade, Japan last year successfully hosted the first-ever Halal Expo, with over 250 participants hailing from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Thailand, the UAE and Turkey.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan rose sharply in 2013, exceeding 10 million for the first time, and the resulting economic effect is attracting a great deal of attention. The number of tourists from Southeast Asian countries and visitors from the predominantly Muslim countries of Malaysia and Indonesia, in particular, is increasing significantly due to relaxed visa requirements, and numbers are expected to be bolstered further from the growing middle class in both countries.

In response to the surge in visitor traffic, major airports such as Narita International Airport are scrambling to make Muslim tourists feel welcome, including by setting up prayer rooms and offering in-flight meals free of pork and alcohol.