A Satrafoods store in Ho Chi Minh City that meets Halal standards
Halal foods are products that are permitted under Islamic Law due to being processed to extremely detailed and strict standards.
In his opening address at the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son stated that this marks first occasion that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has co-operated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to organise such an event. The purpose of the function is to raise awareness about the potential of this market, in addition to the importance of Halal certifications and measures that can allow local firms to participate in an effective manner in the global Halal food market.
Most notably, the global Halal food market boasts great potential and is witnessing rapid expansion across every continent from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Indeed, there are approximately 2 billion Muslims globally, with Halal food spending forecast to stand at an estimated US$1,400 billion this year, although this figure is anticipated to grow by more than 10 times to US$15,000 billion by 2050.
Recent demand for Halal products has seen a dramatic increase, not only because of the rapid growth of the Muslim population in Islamic countries, but due to shifts in the non-Muslim population in major economies who increasingly prefer these products due to their standards on food hygiene, safety, and the environment.
“This is a great opportunity for countries like Vietnam to export food and agricultural products,” Deputy Minister Son emphasised.
Despite the huge potential that exists, the participation of Vietnamese businesses in the Halal food market remains limited. According to the Halal Vietnam Center, domestic enterprises participate in the export of some Halal products, but are only able to meet one thirds of the demand from countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
At present, many businesses are still facing difficulties relating to issuing Halal certificates, whilst they generally lack information about the market, business culture, and consumption patterns, all of which hinder them becoming deeply involved in the Halal market, especially those of Muslim countries.
Deputy Minister Son added that he expects the forum to provide an actual assessment of the global Halal food market’s potential, not only in countries with a majority Muslim population, but also in those with a small Muslim population such as in Europe, the Americas, and some Asian nations. This will therefore serve to help identify new trends and demand for Halal products, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and many other Halal services such as tourism.
Moving forward, it is imperative to clarify the difficulties and challenges faced by Vietnamese firms in obtaining a Halal certification in markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Europe, and America. Simultaneously, businesses need to make proposals for Halal certification from reputable organizations as a means of ensuring their access to the Halal market in different nations, the Deputy Minister said.
Delegates at the forum took the chance to exchange experience in mapping out strategies for the Halal food industry in various countries in order to propose measures aimed at supporting and promoting the involvement of local businesses in the supply chain. This is along with learning ways to produce Halal food on a global scale whilst connecting Vietnamese businesses with Halal product importers and exporters globally.
Furthermore, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan outlined that the Vietnamese agriculture sector always accompany domestic agro-forestry-fishery enterprises whilst being aware of the high import demand coming from Islamic markets. These factors therefore represent plenty of opportunities for the export of goods such as food, along with agricultural and aquatic products.
Deputy Minister Hoan expressed his belief that through the event, all relevant parties will have the chance to learn more about the needs and conditions of local agro-forestry- fishery exports to the Muslim markets, thereby looking forward to developing a strategy for greater involvement.
Moreover, management agencies and enterprises must carefully study how to produce export products with quality, specifications, and designs in accordance with regulations relating to quality standards. Indeed, other issues such as consumption practices in different countries, building product distribution networks, opening representative offices, and operating branches in the market must also be considered, Hoan added.
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