Halal industry exploring new opportunities in markets of the US, South Africa and India

DUBAI: The market for halal products is growing exponentially at 20 per cent per year with the industry exploring new opportunities in markets of the US, South Africa and India.

The USD 2.77 trillion global halal industry is being showcased at an exhibition here with more than 90 exhibitors from 26 countries including Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, UK, and US.

Halal products -- the Islamic equivalent of 'kosher' -- cover food, health services and cosmetics, with the annual food market alone accounting for about 20 per cent, valued at around USD 550 billion.

"The growing demand for quality Halal products from the region presents an opportunity as well as a challenge to the global Halal industry. The region is crucial for the industry as it imports between 80 and 90 per cent of its food requirements," said Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saif Mohammed Al Midfa.

He said fresh meat continues to be undersupplied in the Middle East as well as in other Muslim majority countries and the industry can capitalise on these opportunities.

A sessions during the Halal Congress will cover overview and opportunities in the US, South Africa and India.

Being held under the theme 'Global standard for quality, hygiene and safety', the inaugural exhibition has brought together leading experts, scientists and promoters from all over the world.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which have approved more than 50 Halal certification bodies, are considering making it mandatory for all meat imported into the region to carry a Halal stamp.