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Halal Receives Export Focus

News From : DagangHalal.com (12 Sep 2009)

The government aims to expand halal food exports by at least 10% a year between 2010 and 2014, helped by new strategies to drive the development of products for Muslim markets.

A panel on halal industry development chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu yesterday approved strategies to develop the industry.

They include a plan to strengthen the potential of the halal industry to meet world standards and conform to domestic demand; promote the competitiveness of both entrepreneurs and workers in the industry; increase Thailand’s capability in certifying food as meeting Muslim halal standards, and expand markets and upgrade research and development.

The targeted products are vegetables, fruits, fishery and livestock products and tourism and health care services.The strategy calls for five southern provinces – Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun and Songkhla – to become the production base for halal products.

Mr Korbsak said various agencies would complete an action plan within one month.

The world’s Muslim population is about 1.9 billion or 29% of the total world population. Muslim consumers include 8 million in North America with a market value of $1.75 billion per year, 18 million in Europe ($2.63 billion), and 200 million in Indonesia ($2.19 billion).

The total global halal market is estimated to be worth $635 billion.

Thailand is currently the fifth-largest halal food exporter, controlling a 5.6% market share.

In 2008, Thai halal exports were worth 5.19 billion baht, up 53.3% from a year earlier. In the first seven months this year, exports dropped 26.9% to 2.49 billion on shrinking global consumption.

A previous nine-year halal industry development plan ending in 2010 had a budget of 3.3 billion baht. The new budget was not disclosed.

The Thai Commerce Ministry has been encouraging small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to explore the halal market by joining its trade trips abroad. The ministry also advises manufacturers on how to make products and run businesses in strict conformity to Islamic rules.

In Thailand, halal products are processed in accordance with the regulations of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand for Halal Food Standard B.E. 2544, which covers production plants, food products, raw materials, employees, transport and storage, distribution and services.

Source: Bangkok Post Business

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