Filipino entrepreneurs are encouraged to tap the growing multi-trillion-dollar market for halal products and services.
“We certainly recognize the enormous halal market which accounts for approximately US$10 trillion in the global market –food, non-food and services. Hence, we should leverage on this opportunity and fully maximize its potential,” Roberto Amores, Director for Agriculture and Fishery Committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said in a webinar on Doing Business in Indonesia.
Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau Director Senen Perlada identified the country’s “quick wins” products and services.
Perlada said top export sectors are fresh fruits and nuts, bread, pastry, cereals and milk, sauces and seasoning, animal and vegetable fats, and oil, both fresh and processed foods.
“In the future we would like to see a notable export figure for halal poultry and meat and once our halal hubs are in place, we will have slaughterhouses and laboratories for halal. We are quite optimistic that this growth will be realized in the very near future,” he said.
Perlada also dispelled traditional thinking that halal is only for food products.
“Halal is also about non-food that includes very, very big items in pharmaceutical, personal care and cosmetics, medical devices and modest Islamic fashion. It’s not just goods, it’s also services,” he said.
Perlada was also optimistic on resumption of the “very vibrant” activities in Islamic tourism when a vaccine on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is available.
“Of course, we have Islamic tourism, we have Islamic financing, the Sharia-compliant stocks and we also have halal logistics,” he added.
Perlada cited some of the key drivers of the global halal economy.
“The key drivers of this expansion, like the Philippines, is the demographic sweet spot of the Muslim population which are now composed of mainly young consumers,” he said. “Provided that they are able to find gainful employment, this is going to be a massive number for consumers of halal products.”
He also noted the availability of bonds accessible for investments while expecting a lead in technological advancement, including blockchain, cryptocurrencies. and the internet of things.
“I believe, I’m convinced that in the very near future, the global halal economy will be driven by these technological advances as well,” he added.
Perlada identified leading countries in halal, including Asean-4 comprising Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore; the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman; other Middle East countries such as Iraq, Turkey and Egypt, as well as other Asian countries such as China and Iran.
To seize these huge global markets, Amores said certification is “essential.”
“I believe that having an established and credible standard, having an established certification process will elevate our chances in penetrating the market even at par with the other halal certifiers and exporters in the global market,” he said.
Perlada bared the country is working closely on a government-to-government (G2G) arrangement particularly for Indonesia, the biggest consumer market for halal with about 270 million consumers.