Bangladesh set to become member of International Halal Accreditation Forum

Trying to get membership of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries

Bangladesh is going to become a member of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) soon for strengthening the country’s position in the halal products’ markets across the world. The country has already submitted its application after taking approval from the cabinet, reports BSS.

Talking to BSS, Industries Secretary KM Ali Azam said, after becoming a member of the IHAF, the certification of the Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB) will be accepted across the world.

He informed that Bangladesh is also trying to get membership of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).

He added that Bangladesh has the potential to be a major player in the global halal market and as a result, the government is providing all kinds of support to expand the Bangladeshi halal products’ market.

Foreign Affairs Ministry’s South East Asia Wing Director General M J H Jabed said Bangladesh will have to go towards the halal industry to increase its export for achieving development goals, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-2030, and Vision 2041.

“For becoming a developed country, if we want to increase our export to US $80 billion from the existing $40 billion, we will have to move to the halal industry. The demand of halal industry is growing day by day,” he added.

In line with the growing demand for halal products across the world, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Zone Development Consultant AKM Mahbubur Rahman said BEZA is ready to offer developed land with an attractive package of incentives to establish a “Halal Hub” in its economic zones.

He said Bangladesh is predominantly a Muslim country, with a population of more than 170 million and the people of this country are mostly concerned about consuming halal food.

A major segment of the population has been aiming to produce halal items for their own consumption as well as earn revenue by selling their produce, he added.

However, he said, the country is lacking institutional arrangements to promote halal industry by name, such as mechanisms to certify halal products and overseas marketing promotions.

With ample opportunities to become involved in halal product manufacturing and exports, this country was not able to diversify its outward business, he added.

Mahbubur Rahman informed that the global halal industry is estimated to be worth around $2.3 trillion and growing at an estimated annual rate of 20%. The industry is valued at about $560 billion a year.

This makes it one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world, and the global market of 1.8 billion Muslims is no longer confined to food and food related products, he added.

He said the halal industry has now expanded beyond the food sector to include pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health products, toiletries, and medical devices as well as service sector components such as logistics, marketing, print, and electronic media, packaging, branding, and financing.

He informed that, with the increase in the number of affluent Muslims in recent years, the halal industry has expanded further into lifestyle offerings including halal travel and hospitality services, as well as fashion.

This development has been triggered by the changes in the mindsets of Muslim consumers as well as ethical consumer trends worldwide, he said.

He said Muslims represent an estimated 23% of the global population, with an average growth of 3% per annum.

If this growth trend continues, Muslims are expected to make up about 26% of the world’s total projected population in 2030, he added.

He said although Islam is often associated with the Arab world and the Middle East, this region is home to only 20% of the world’s Muslim population.

This number is expected to grow by more than a third in the next two decades.

Sub-Saharan Africa makes up 15% of Muslims worldwide, and is projected to grow by nearly 60% in the next two decades, he added.

He said although Muslims will remain a minority group in Europe and America, they will constitute a growing share of the total population.

The sizeable and growing Muslim consumer market across the globe will continue to fuel the halal industry’s double digit growth, creating a plethora of opportunities in the market for halal products and services, he added. -BSS

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