Businesses and experts on Thursday said that both the government and the entrepreneurs should give more focus on halal products to seize all the opportunities they offer to venture into the over $2 trillion global halal market.
Bangladeshi products, including agro-processed foods, beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, have a huge prospect in the global market of halal products, which is growing fast, they said at a seminar on ‘halal certification standards and challenges: opportunities for Bangladesh market’.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the seminar at its auditorium in the capital.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority executive chairman Kazi Md Aminul Islam suggested that a separate economic zone could be established for manufacturing halal products.
An international standard certification body is also needed so that local halal products are generally accepted across the world, he said.
He said that there was a trillion dollar ready market for halal products in the world, including in countries where a significant number of Muslims live.
Emphasising on infrastructure development, including a standard certification body, testing facility and policy support, in this connection, he said that Islamic Foundation was now issuing halal certificates, which is not enough to meet the global standards.
Referring to Global Islamic Economy 2017-18 Report of Thomson Reuters, DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan said that global Islamic market was around $2 trillion which was 11.9 per cent of the world expenditures.
Bangladesh has the potential to flourish in the halal market if proper policy supports are given, he said.
He emphasised on developing an international halal certification process, setting up a separate economic zone for halal product manufacturers, framing a roadmap and a new policy along with providing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to seize the opportunities of the growing market.
United Arab Emirates ambassador to Bangladesh Saed Mohammed Saed Hmaid Almheiri said that the popularity of halal foods and other consumer items had been rising even among non-Muslims as these products were hygienic and healthy.
Referring to the estimate of Transparency Market Research, he said that the global halal product market was valued at $2.7 trillion in 2015 and expected to rise to $ 10.51 trillion by 2024.
He said that Bangladesh had been exporting halal meat to a limited number of countries but it could be expanded by ensuring safe and healthy cattle meat.
UAE is ready to help Bangladesh in developing halal certification, he added.
UAE-based RACS Quality Certificates Issuing Service
LLC’s sales and marketing department head Ossama Emam presented a keynote paper on the issue.
He said that Bangladesh had a big opportunity to flourish in the global halal market with its products like agro-processed food, beverage and cosmetics.
Even Thailand and Singapore, two non-Muslim countries in the region, have many halal products targeting Muslim consumers, he said.
‘Bangladesh needs focus on halal products like foods, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical
items as it has ample opportunity in global market,’ he said.
DCCI convenor MS Siddiqui, vice-president Riyadh Hossain, former senior vice-presidents MS Shekil Chowdhury and Abdus Salam, directors Waqar Ahmad Choudhury, SM Zillur Rahman, among others, spoke at the seminar.