News From : DagangHalal.com (30 Mar 2011)
By Quintus Perera-Asian Tribune Colombo, 29 March, (Asiantribune.com):The 2nd Halal Conference and Exhibition, Halal Expo 2011 was held at Galdari Hotel and the Chief Guest at the events was A H M Fowzie, Senior Minister for Urban Affairs. This is the only event of its kind to be held in Sri Lanka, encompassing the entire Halal industry.
The event thus witnessed companies and individuals from sectors like food and beverages, Islamic Banking and Finance, Travel and tourism, education and lifestyle.
The conference was chaired by Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Singapore based Crescentrating Ltd – a global market leader in the niche market of Halal-friendly travel.
Mr Bahardeen spoke about the vast strides that the Halal industry has made across the global spectrum. He said that special focus has been made on areas of Halal Tourism, a multi-billion dollar industry, stating that the contribution by Muslim travelers to tourism expenditure has increased almost five-fold over the past 15 years.
As for outbound travel, the Middle East displayed the highest growth among all the market segments He discussed the initiatives taken by countries such as Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia in order to ensure Arab tourists, who now comprise a significant business segment that could no longer be ignored. He said that Sri Lanka could take cue from such countries, especially at a time when peace has fially dawned and when the country has genuine prospects of being leading tourist destination.
Speaking of Halal food he said that what they are trying to do is to encourage companies not just to push Halal food but to go beyond and to educate the consumers what is good food for health and what is bad. He said that in fact some big companies are considering to make their products to be more health conscious, but it is a major challenge as all the people tend to eat more than required.
Mr Bahardeen said that for Halal Industry last 12 months were particularly important and said that Halal friendly tourism has now become a multi-billion dollar industry and the Middle-East displayed the highest growth among all the market segments. He said that affluent travelers spend US $1,000 per day, the Middle-Eastern travelers would spend US $1,500 or more.
He said that countries and large companies around the globe have shown great interest in focusing their attention to the Islamic market, in adjusting their businesses and services to align with the Muslim lifestyle in all areas, food, banking, education, travel etc.
He said that media has started to speak about Halal Industry increasingly and this is changing the dynamics of the industry in the coming years. He said that major research houses are getting interested in the Industry and Google has created a search for Halal and it would be expanded in the coming years. He said that companies are searching for how best their products to be targeted for Islamic market.
He said that now ‘Halal’ is going beyond the food and banking and it is actually the Muslim lifestyle and said that Islamic market is being looked at seriously and today it represents 23% of the world population are Muslims. There are 1.59 billion Muslims in the world and their growth would be doubled in the next 20 to 30 years and would grow to be 26.4% then out of the world population.
The requirements of this population should have to be looked into and now any product be Halal, which was not considered that way earlier. Things like medical facilities, IT, Logistics, financial market and the value to that community have to be recognized and integrated solutions should be found.
Halal food market is US $ 650 billion out of a world figure of US $ 1,2 trillion in 2010 and consumption by Muslims would be 1/5th of the world food market and thus businesses have to change their strategies accordingly.
He said that with regard to travel industry and the contribution of the Muslim community would be around 40% of .the world population.
He said that Sri Lanka also has potential to be a hub to South Asia in this field and said that countries like Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia in order to entice Arab tourists who now comprise a significant business segment that could no longer be ignored. Sri Lanka could take cue from such countries he said.
A S M Fowzie, Senior Minister for Urban Affairs declared open the Halal Exhibition – Halal Expo 2011.
-Asian Tribune –