OIC, IDB pledge support to Halal Middle East 2013 after talks with ECS chief
Aiming to speed up the achievement of the target of 20 per cent intra-OIC trade by 2015, two key Islamic organizations have decided to throw their weight behind a premier industry event that will be held in Sharjah this year.
During discussions with Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah, senior officials of the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank pledged their support for the second international Halal products exhibition and conference – the Halal Middle East — at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Following the successful organization of the first Halal Middle East that has given a new impetus to the Muslim world to grab the opportunities being offered by the nearly US$ 3 trillion global Halal industry, Mr. Midfa was in Saudi Arabia to further boost the scope and scale of the trade fair.
Mr. Midfa held talks with Mr. Abdul Moin Bokhari, Assistant Secretary General at OIC General Secretariat; Mr. Hameed A. Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General, Economic Affairs, OIC; Dr Osman Mahgoub El Fiel, Advisor to the President, Islamic Development Bank; and Mr. Ahmed Saleh Hariri, Division Manager, South/Southeast Asia & Suriname Country Programs Department.
“The vast scope for better trade cooperation among Muslim countries was clearly visible during the launch edition of Halal Middle East last year, which had the support of OIC’s trade wing Islamic Centre for Development of Trade and several other Halal organizations and Islamic bodies. For the next Halal MiddleEast, we will aim to involve more entities that promote trade among Muslim countries,” said Mr. Midfa.
The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The intra-OIC trade currently stands at 17 per cent of their member countries’ total trade and the average gross domestic product growth at 5 per cent in 2011. IDB is a financial institution under the OIC and is responsible for the economic and social development of its member countries.
“Halal MiddleEast has come at a time when there is a feeling that there are far more opportunities for Muslim countries to increase trade and economic cooperation. During the meeting with OIC and IDB officials, we felt the need to open up more trade channels and Halal MiddleEast was seen as a strategic platform that can provide good results,” Mr. Midfa added.
The first Halal MiddleEast was held from December 10 to 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah and attracted nearly 1,800 trade visitors to its showcase of more than 90 exhibitors from 26 countries. It was held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Sharjah Ruler and Supreme Council Member.
The inaugural Halal Congress MiddleEast was held alongside the Halal MiddleEast at the same venue, bringing together leading Halal experts, scholars and promoters from all over the world.
The 2nd Halal MiddleEast will be held from December 9 to 11, 2013, in association with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Expo Centre Sharjah.