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International conference on global Halal food market potential and opportunities for Vietnam

On the morning of November 30th, 2020, at Intercontinental Westlake Hotel, Hanoi, an international seminar on promoting the export of Vietnamese food products to Halal international market took place. Attending the workshop, there were Mr. Bui Thanh Son - Member of the Central Party Committee, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Le Minh Hoan - Member of the Central Party Committee, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Head of representative office of Middle East, Africa and Asia region in Vietnam and more than 200 delegates from ministries, central sectors, localities ... and the domestic business community.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son highly appreciated the initiative of the authorities of the two ministries: Foreign Affairs and Agriculture and Rural Development for the first time to hold this kind of meaningful forum in Vietnam, as well as the active participation of domestic and international delegates with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of potential Halal food market, the importance of Halal certification and measures to help Vietnamese enterprises effectively participate in the global Halal food market.

Photo: L.P

According to statistics, there are about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, accounting for 23% of the world's population and concentrated mainly in countries such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Arabic, UAE and Middle Eastern countries. Of the 1.8 billion Muslims mentioned above, Southeast Asia has about 230 million. The group of 4 countries with a thriving Muslim market is Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh with more than 700 million consumers. It is forecast that the global Muslim community will grow to 2.1 billion people by 2050 with the possibility of consuming Halal products of about $15 trillion.

According to the speakers at the workshop, the Halal-related industry is not only about the processed foods and drinks, but also the raw materials for processing; cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, personal care and health products; logistics services; restaurant services, hotels... Vietnam has great potential to develop the Halal economy. With Vietnam's GDP growth increasing by an average of 6% to 7% per year, Vietnam has a strong domestic economy for future development. Besides, Vietnam possesses abundant raw materials that are very potential for Halal including coffee, rice, seafood, spices, beans, vegetables ... Vietnam is also recognized as one of the leading international tourist attractions today, showing that the future potential for Halal's restaurant, hotel and service business is quite large.

For Tien Giang province, according to updated data from the Provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the export value of the province to the market of Muslim countries: in 2018 about 186.4 million USD; in 2019 about 236.5 million USD and 9 months of 2020 about 160.8 million USD; with mainly seafood exports (frozen fish fillet, clam shells, fish cakes), garments, rice, frozen vegetables, processed foods, artificial grass lawns, copper pipes, shoes, shoe accessories, bags, fish oil, stainless steel, permanent magnets, plastic blinds, electrical equipment.

Top 5 major markets: India, Indonesia, UAE, Malaysia, Bahrain

 

9 months
of 2020

2019

2018

Export value (USD)

 - India

106,728,297

197,706,579

156,060,599

 - Indonesia

28,525,960

3,349,588

1,400,136

 - UAE

12,436,478

6,436,990

6,528,369

 - Malaysia

5,224,441

8,146,910

3,328,352

 - Bahrain

1,762,262

5,166,506

1,395,342

 - Israel

1,682,852

4,465,938

6,751,585

- Dubai

1,519,709

4,175,576

3,001,574

 - Jodan

1,041,339

359,062

940,316

 - Pakistan

728,332

2,466,983

1,471,364

- Saudi

441,350

1,324,111

2,306,780

- Qatar

396,322

821,128

845,621

 - Oman

142,775

199,668

208,458

 - Kuwait

85,343

1,327,715

1,401,248

 - Iraq

60,258

535,646

565,520

 - Arab

0

0

0

- Afganistan

0

0

0

- Bangladesh

0

0

81,000

- Palestine

0

0

0

 - Syria

0

0

103,200

Total

160,775,718

236,482,400

186,389,464

 

Source: Tien Giang Department of Industry and Trade

Currently in Tien Giang, there are 19 Halal certified companies to be able to export to Halal markets as mentioned above. However, according to Mr. Mohammed Omar, assessment expert of Halal Certification Office in Hanoi, Vietnamese enterprises need to be very careful in approaching consulting companies to evaluate and issue certificates because in Vietnam there are 9 Halal certification organizations, but only 01 internationally recognized organization. On the other side, each importing country has its own requirements, so it is necessary to have the confirmation of the importers. In terms of process, businesses must take 05 steps: (1) Apply for certification; (2) Evaluation and signing of contracts; (3) Phase evaluation; (4) Assessing the scene; and (5) Verification of dossiers and issuance of certificates. To achieve Halal certification businesses must meet at least 04 basic requirements: (1) Raw materials for production of such products must be Halal; (2) Do not use Khamar (alcoholic) in any form to put in the product; (3) Phase evaluation; (4) Assessing the scene; and (5) Verification of dossiers and issuance of certificates. To achieve Halal certification businesses must meet at least 04 basic requirements: (1) Raw materials for production of such products must be Halal; (2) Do not use Khamar (alcoholic) in any form to put in the product; (3) Do not use prohibited animal ingredients (pork); or non-Ritual slaughter animals (Zabihah); (4) The conditions of home and food hygiene and safety must be ensured in accordance with regulations. It is ultimately important for businesses to understand Halal products that do not have banned ingredients (Haram) and ensure "purity" throughout the entire production process.

The seminar had 03 thematic discussion sessions on market potential; what certificates and solutions for Vietnamese enterprises to enter this huge and promising market. In his closing remarks, Mr. Le Minh Hoan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development highly appreciated the speech of local and international speakers directly and online, showing the overall picture of the global Halal market and export potential for Vietnamese enterprises. The remaining problem is that businesses must seize the opportunity and cooperate closely with relevant agencies to participate in this global supply chain in the future./.

Translated by the Department of Foreign Affairs

 


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