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Philippines: Halal trade seen to propel economy

15/2/11  www.mb.com.ph

ISABELA CITY, Basilan (PIA) – The vast global market for halal products may propel the economy in Mindanao – this, however, is largely dependent on the consciousness of local Muslim consumers and the business community when looking at the great potentials of the industry.

Dr. Norodin A. Kuit, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certifying Board, Inc. (MMHCBI) lead halal auditor, said halal goods and services are currently valued at $1.323 trillion in global food value.

He said that other countries, particularly non-Muslim countries, are venturing more on the halal industry because of its multi-billion-dollar value.

He cited Thailand as champion of the industry, which is currently dubbed the “kitchen of the world.”

Kuit said that unlike in the Philippines, Thailand has a sole Halal Certifying Board, and 33 out of its 78 provinces have their own halal program.

While 11 universities have their comprehensive halal programs, notably the Cholalongkorn University in Bangkok that has its own Halal Science Center with sophisticated 280 million Baht worth of halal laboratory and equipment.

He added that the Thailand government allotted about 40 billion Baht to develop Patani Province as the “Key Halal Production Hub” of Thailand.

Kuit said the Philippines, particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are looking at the model countries for halal industry development in the country.

He said the halal market is so vast that Mindanao particularly the ARMM should take advantage of, adding that global Muslim consumers are estimated at 1.8 billion in 112 countries.

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