For those looking for businesses ideas in 2020, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez suggested venturing into the Halal market. Secretary Lopez is also the Chair of the Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, a policy-making body composed of public and private sector representatives.
“There is big potential in Halal in the sense that there are many tourists that skip visiting the Philippines because there are only a few places where they can eat,” Sec. Lopez said. He also cited the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Games to illustrate the potential market among ASEAN neighbors.
The secretary said that entrepreneurs should start with a change in mindset and see Halal as a lifestyle that can be enjoyed by everyone. To note, the Philippines has barely scratched the surface of the US$ 3.3 trillion global Halal market.
“DTI is promoting this because Halal certified food products connote positive attributes such as being clean, healthy, and pure. We encourage more companies to apply for Halal certification because it opens more markets, so more consumers can buy their products. Some local companies are already starting by certifying their canned tuna and corned beef products,” he added.
He sees Singapore as a good model for domestic promotion. Like the Philippines, only 10% of the Singaporean population are Muslims, but there are many groceries selling Halal products.
There are nine Halal-certifying bodies in the Philippines, namely the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Halal Development Institute of the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Islamic Advocate on Halal and Development, Philippine Ulama Congress Organization, Alliance for Halal Integrity in the Philippines Inc., and Prime Aisa Pacific. But Sec. Lopez is pushing for more certifying bodies to accommodate more applicants.
Halal is an Arabic word that means lawful or permitted and refers to products that can be consumed by Muslims.
Food, cosmetics and personal care items, as well as hotels and restaurants are some products and services that can be Halal-certified.
Interested entrepreneurs can get in touch with the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau’s Halal Section for assistance on Halal-certification. (Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat)