Islamabad – Pakistan for the first time is introducing law to promote Halal Industry in the country though policy intervention, as the pre-dominantly Muslim country eyes Gulf countries where demand for halal goods has grown in recent years.
Pakistan Halal Authority is being established to promote import and export in Halal articles and processes, Science and Technology Ministry Rana Tanveer Hussain told a two-day meeting of the D-8 countries that began in the capital Islamabad on April 27, according to an official announcement.
“The Global Halal Market is currently valued in 2 trillion dollars, of which 700 billion dollar is Islamic market,” the minister told the Experts group of the D-8 countries. “Cooperation amongst the D-8 countries in the Halal Sector provides an excellent opportunity to increase the share of D-8 countries in the world Halal Market,” he added.
The D-8 organization, also known as Development-8, includes Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran and Pakistan, which share among them nearly 60 percent of the world’s Muslim population. Pakistan with a total population of about 197 million people ranks as the world’s second most Muslim populous country behind Indonesia.
Pakistan early this year published a list of 20 imported food products it said were not halal or permitted under Islamic laws that prohibits use of pork or alcohol ingredients in food items. A government body in March that met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in chair approved the Pakistan Halal Authority Bill to promote halal food industry in the country. (http://www.most.gov.pk)
The proposed PHA will be responsible for developing plans and policies to ensure compliance of Halal articles and processes with the Halal standards. The certified organizations dealing with halal articles or processes will be authorized to use Halal logo.
Fearing a possible crackdown on food items that may have pork, alcohol or other non-halal ingredients, many shops have started to take off items, such as imported pop-tarts, imported jelly, sweets and several European brands of chicken soup, from their shelves, an AFP report said.
“Pakistan has every capability to become Halal Hub in comparison with any other country,” said Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the Chief Executive Officer of Halal Research Council, Pakistan, in a statement posted on the council’s official website (http://www.halalrc.org).
The council, whose products are overseen by independent Shariah scholars, plans to hold international seminars in South Africa, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and UAE in 2015 to promote trade of halal food and non-food products.
Minister Hussain said the D-8 Experts Group meeting on Halal Sector Development was an excellent opportunity towards capacity building, human resource development and sharing knowledge for the growth of Halal industry.
The D-8 meeting will focus on increasing the trade in Halal Sector which covers a wide range of items such as food, pharmaceuticals, health, food, supplements and toiletries.