In a significant development for international trade and quality standards, the Ministry of Industry in Thailand revealed ongoing discussions with Saudi Arabia’s leading regulatory body, the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), as of January 10, 2024. This pivotal initiative is designed to elevate standardization protocols, bolster trade and investment, and streamline business operations between the two countries.
Witnessing a remarkable 23% growth in Thai-Saudi trade over the last two years, following the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, the trade volume is on the brink of hitting the 10 billion USD mark. This surge has propelled a new proposal focusing on developing technical cooperation to further enhance this burgeoning relationship.
Central to this initiative is Thailand’s invitation to SASO executives for a landmark visit. The visit aims to facilitate direct engagement with the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI), focusing on two crucial areas:
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): This MOU signifies a formal partnership between Thailand and Saudi Arabia in standardization and quality assurance.
- Quality Certification for Thai Products: A significant part of the visit involves securing SASO’s endorsement for certifying the quality of Thai food and Halal products. This endorsement is a strategic move to broaden Thailand’s market reach, particularly in the global Muslim community.
In anticipation of these new standards, Thailand is already taking proactive steps to upgrade its infrastructure. These upgrades include:
- Establishing specialized units for certification inspection, ready to adhere to international Halal standards set by trade partners.
- Implementing the ISO/IEC 17020 system for Halal certification.
- Enhancing the skill set of personnel in the food industry to ensure compliance with international Halal standards.
This collaboration between Thailand and Saudi Arabia is not just a testament to growing economic ties but also a significant step towards uplifting Halal standards in both nations. It underscores the commitment to ensuring that certified Halal products gain wider acceptance and helps position Thai products prominently in the global Muslim market. This strategic alliance is poised to open new avenues for trade and cultural exchange, cementing Thailand’s role as a key player in the international Halal market.