In a major push to develop the cross border trade of halal certified products, a series of memoranda of understanding (MoU) and agreements have been signed by Dubai Exports , the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development ( DED ) in Dubai, in partnership with the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) of Malaysia and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC).
The agreements, with trade hubs and jurisdictions across the world, will bolster efforts to create a global halal trade network, with common standards, that will enable regional and international companies to tap the growing global interest in halal products.
The creation of the halal network will strengthen bi-lateral trade between developed and developing Muslim majority countries, giving an immediate boost to the volume of halal products traded, which in turn will bolster foreign exchange earnings and help create new jobs. It is also expected the network will attract multinational companies eager to tap the growth opportunities created by the rapidly increasing global Muslim population.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre said: “The Halal industry is at the heart of Dubai’s vision for the global Islamic economy. This series of hub-to-hub agreements provides a solid foundation on which to drive the development of the halal sector and encourage cross border halal trade, which, in turn, will generate significant investment opportunities for major international, regional and local businesses.
“The halal sector is poised for significant growth over the next five years. This initiative will significantly strengthen economic activity, not just in Muslim majority countries but also in countries, such as New Zealand and Brazil, that have significant halal-based industries. It also firmly positions Dubai as a leader in the development of the Islamic economy,” added Al Gergawi.
His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED , and Vice Chairman, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “These agreements will help us reinforce the local and global halal market, create an acceptance for globally traded goods under the Dubai halal brand and ultimately extend our halal footprint globally. This initiative could further serve as the blueprint for a food and nutritional security agenda for the MENA region.”
According to research conducted by Thomson Reuters, the total halal market is forecast to grow to US $1.6 trillion by 2018. Estimates suggest that the global halal food segment is worth around US$667 billion (nearly six billion dirhams) and accounts for around 20% of the global food trade while additional Halal sectors such as pharmaceuticals, tourism, clothing and cosmetics also add to the value of the overall industry. Demand for halal products is expected to grow by 15-20% over the next five years
Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin, CEO of Halal Industry Development Corporation, said: “Halal is not merely a way of life, it is a global industry worth billions of US dollars. The halal trade network will provide manufacturers, distributors, retailers, entrepreneurs, researchers and investors all the necessary assistance to penetrate the global halal market.”
A founding partner in the network is HDC that coordinates the overall development of the halal industry in Malaysia. Focusing on the development of halal standards, audit and certification, plus capacity building for halal products and services, HDC promotes participation and facilitates the growth of Malaysian companies in the global halal market.