GCC Halal food imports set to jump to $53bn by 2020

Updated 08 November 2014
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GCC Halal food imports set to jump to $53bn by 2020

The annual 9th Dubai International Food Safety Conference and Exhibition (DIFSC), being held in Dubai from tomorrow until Nov. 11, is organized by the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality with the support of International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) and Institute of Food Technologists.
The importance of this conference is the global food supply, which is getting increasingly complex. The increase of food safety challenges and reports of widespread food-borne illnesses require individuals and organizations to collaborate and collectively work to address them.
The conference aims discuss how people protect the highly complex and growing global food supply chain with innovation and a strong desire to change the way things are done to create a better future, according to its organizers.
"Halal food will be the focus of attention of this year’s conference,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality.
He said: “Halal food has an estimated annual global market value of $1 trillion, which equates to approximately 20 percent of a global food market predicted to reach $5.3 trillion by the end of 2014. Halal food imports into the GCC are set to jump from $25.8 billion in 2010 to $53.1 billion by 2020.”
He added: “Halal food imports into the UAE annually will reach $8.4 billion by the end of the decade.”
Khalid Sherif, director of food control department at Dubai Municipality, said: "This new initiative represents an engaging, value-added proposition for our global network of food manufacturers and traders.”
Halal food, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is defined by Islamic law as lawful food permitted for consumption.
Halal food cannot consist of or contain anything which is considered unlawful under Islamic law and there are strict criteria governing the entire supply chain - from slaughtering of animals, processing and transportation to kitchen preparation and storage, he added.
The principal food inspection officer at Dubai Municipality, Bobby Krishna believes that "the four days at the conference will be spent on learning, discussion and constructive arguments and, above all, paving the way for sharing our responsibilities and challenges."


US wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

Updated 11 min 37 sec ago
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US wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

GENEVA: The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Thursday against China’s use of tariff-rate quotas for rice, wheat and corn, which it successfully argued limited market access for US grain exports.
The case, lodged by the Obama administration in late 2016, marked the second US victory in as many months. It came amid US-China trade talks and on the heels of Washington clinching a WTO ruling on China’s price support for grains in March.
A WTO dispute panel ruled on Thursday that under the terms of its 2001 WTO accession, China’s administration of the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) as a whole violated its obligation to administer them on a “transparent, predictable and fair basis.”
TRQs are two-level tariffs, with a limited volume of imports allowed at the lower ‘in-quota’ tariff and subsequent imports charged an “out-of-quota” tariff, which is usually much higher.
The administration of state trading enterprises and non-state enterprises’ portions of TRQs are inconsistent with WTO rules, the panel said.
Australia, Brazil, India, and the European Union were among those reserving their rights in the dispute brought by the world’s largest grain exporter.
In a statement, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the decision, saying China’s system “ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying US farmers access to China’s market for grain.”
If China’s TRQs had been fully used, $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice would have been imported in 2015 alone, it said, citing US Department of Agriculture estimates.
The two WTO rulings would help American farmers “compete on a more level playing field,” the USTR statement said, adding: “The (Trump) Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”
The latest WTO panel said that the United States had not proven all of its case, failing to show that China had violated its public notice obligation under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in respect to TRQs.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Friday it “regrets” the panel’s decision and that it would “earnestly evaluate” the panel’s report.
China would “handle the matter appropriately in accordance with WTO dispute resolution procedures, actively safeguard the stability of the multilateral trading system and continue to administer the relevant agricultural import tariff quotas in compliance with WTO rules,” it said.
Either side can appeal the ruling within 60 days.