MANILA, Philippines – Filipino exporters are encouraged to explore opportunities in Malaysia, particularly in providing halal products.
According to the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., Malaysian Trade Commissioner Har Man Ahmad said food and non-food products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals could be certified as halal.
As majority of the Malaysian population are Muslims, there are opportunities to provide products to halal consumers.
“Halal is a symbol of quality standard in Malaysia and the business opportunities extend up to the other countries around the world where Malaysian halal products are widely accepted,” Ahmad said.
Halal requirements include visual and laboratory testing, among others.
“Certifying halal involves a great deal of scrutiny which includes contents which the naked eyes could not see,” Ahmad said.
Halal is the prescribed process of preparation of products according to Islamic law.
Earlier, Bureau of Muslim Economic Affairs director Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal said the government intends to position the Philippines as a halal hub by getting a significant share of Southeast Asia’s halal market.
“We want to get 30 percent of the halal market in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) by 2016,” he said.
The ASEAN currently accounts for 60 percent or $1.38 trillion of the global halal market valued at $2.3 trillion.
The Philippines, at present, accounts for below five percent of the region’s halal market.
To make the country the halal hub in the region, Guiapal said the government is preparing a roadmap which would contain strategies to increase awareness as well as encourage more businesses to provide products and services which comply with halal regulations.
The target is to complete the road map by the first quarter of 2015.
Originally published on www.philstar.com