DHAKA: Bangladesh is working on tapping into the global halal market and increasing exports to Gulf countries, the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation said on Tuesday following the government’s inaugural policy on halal certification.
Bangladesh’s Ministry of Religious Affairs approved last month a halal certification policy, which serves as a formal guideline and incentive for companies to align with international halal standards, paving the way for the South Asian nation to harness the potential of the global halal market, which is worth over $2 trillion.
“This halal certification is very important for us since we are a Muslim country and 92 percent of our consumers are Muslim … Now, we will be able to explore the export potential of our halal goods,” Abu Saleh Patwary, deputy director of the halal certification department at the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, told Arab News on Tuesday.
The BIF is a body under the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has worked on halal certification matters since 2007 and is now in charge of issuing halal certificates in Bangladesh.
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE can be the major destination for our halal goods … We will be aiming to increase exports to Muslim countries, especially in the Gulf region,” he said.
“If we can grab 2 to 3 percent of global halal markets, it will boost our economy a lot … Now, a new horizon of halal goods has opened up for our local entrepreneurs.”
The policy comes at a time when Bangladeshi businesses are also exploring new opportunities with Gulf nations, such as Saudi Arabia, which a delegation comprising the country’s top business leaders visited earlier in October.
Jahangir Alam, director at the Dhaka School of Economics, said halal certification was imperative to enter the Middle Eastern market.
“Most Muslim countries want halal certification to import consumer goods. It’s particularly hard to sell goods in Middle Eastern countries without halal certification. For this reason, we need the halal certification very much,” Alam told Arab News, adding that it will help boost the presence of Bangladeshi products internationally.
The process to obtain those certifications should be “easy and hassle-free,” Alam added, to ensure that Bangladeshis can reap the benefits of such a policy.
“The introduction of halal certification will boost sales of goods both locally and globally. Eventually, it will increase the earnings of our foreign currency. It’s a great initiative.”