News From : DagangHalal.com (11 Apr 2009)
he Philippines is holding separate discussions with Kuwait and Brunei on possible investment opportunities in the domestic halal sector, particularly in Mindanao, which has a comparative edge over other countries in the region because it is free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza (AI) or bird flu virus.
Agriculture Undersecretary Jesus Emmanuel Paras said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is offering foreign investors at least two big-ticket halal investment proposals in Mindanao-the Halal Economic Zone in Davao City and a Halal model poultry farm in Cagayan De Oro City-worth a combined P3.04 billion.
Halal is a term is widely used to designate food seen as permissible under Islamic law.
“The proposed Halal Economic Zone, which will cost at least P2.2 billion to establish, is the centerpiece of the halal investment portfolio being offered to overseas investors by the Arroyo government,” Paras said in a recent forum.
To be located in Davao City, the Zone is expected to generate 24,000 new jobs for Muslim Filipinos, and boost the Philippines’ export earnings by at least $200 million per year, he said.
The other investment proposal packaged by the DA, said Paras, is an P840-million project involving the establishment of a Halal model poultry farm complete with research laboratories, abattoirs and other modern facilities.
Around 32,000 Muslim farmers and entrepreneurs in Mindanao are expected to benefit from this proposed initiative, he said.
The DA is offering this halal industry investment portfolio to other interested investors in the Middle East, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the USA.
‘Our exporters will be pleased to hear that initial talks have already been held with Kuwait and Brunei on possible investment opportunities in this sector, notably in FMD- and avian influenza-free Mindanao,” Paras said.
“We are very optimistic about this particular effort, which is made stronger by the fact that we at the DA, in tandem with the other concerned agencies, have started implementing the country’s first ever general guidelines on halal food exports,” he added.
Besides the DA, the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), of Health (DoH), of Science and Technology (DoST), and of Tourism (DoT), along with the Office of the President, Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) comprised the Interagency Core Group that had crafted the guidelines for the country’s halal food exports.