The Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines recently hosted the International Halal Summit 2014 (IHS 2014) with the theme: Tapping Growing Opportunities and Emerging Trends of the Halal Industry from the Perspective of the 2015 ASEAN Economic Integration. The IHS 2014 offered perspectives in understanding the global Halal market, its valuable contribution to the economy in the context of the ASEAN regional integration and how to capitalize on this fast growing sector. Distinguished experts from around the world discussed trends, forecasts, testimonials and business opportunities.

finalHalal Commercial Counsellor Peñaranda speaks at the recent International Halal Summit 2014

One of the invited speakers was Philippine Trade & Investment Centre (PTIC) Commercial Counsellor for Singapore and Malaysia, Glenn Peñaranda who talked about prospects in the Singaporean and Malaysian food markets. He shared that Singapore imports more than 90 percent of its food which includes halal food. Singapore has a strong food processing sector - the country converts raw materials into consumer products for domestic consumption or export. Singapore shoppers are big on small packaging which is attributed to shrinking households, preference for eating out and fresh food. The market in Singapore includes the affluent and quality-conscious Singaporean consumer, the increasingly growing Singaporean food service industry, the large Filipino community, the ship chandling industry and the neighboring regions.

Malaysia, a major halal food hub, is identified as a strategic partner for the training, trading and production of halal food. Snack food such as chocolate and ice cream, is very popular and consumers have also become health-conscious. Commercial Counsellor Peñaranda reminded the attendees on the Malaysian requirement for halal certification. Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development or JAKIM (Jabatan Kemajun Islam Malaysia) recognizes two Philippine halal certifier: Ulama Conference of the Philippines and event organizer Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines.

“The demand for Halal Food in ASEAN is huge and Philippine companies should tap that market,” said Commercial Counsellor Peñaranda. This year, he met with representatives of Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) to discuss collaboration for the Philippine halal food industry. The meeting also included a visit to the Global Halal Support Centre.

The global Halal market is estimated to be worth US$2.3 trillion and Filipino exporters are urged to apply for Halal certification for their products ¬¬to fulfill the demand.