THE Philippine halal market has the potential to grow with current efforts from both the government and the private sector, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) said.
There is a “big chance” that the halal market in the Philippines will grow, and “we have hardly scratched the surface,” said George T. Barcelon, chairman and trustee of Philexport, in a phone interview with BusinessWorld on Monday.
Halal food follows the strict guidelines of Islamic dietary laws. The global halal market now covers sectors like clothing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tourism, media, and more, beyond just food and beverages, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement on Oct. 16.
Mr. Barcelon, who also chairs the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), also expressed his hope that the Philippines could emulate countries involved in halal products, such as Thailand and Malaysia.
The DTI has partnered with global halal stakeholders, including regional powerhouses like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam. The department aims to learn from these countries to improve the Philippine halal industry’s credibility and integrity, it said.
Adroit Market Research expects the global halal market size to approach $3 trillion by 2029, growing at an annualized rate of 5.6% through the projected period.
Halal food has gained popularity among both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers. It is now seen not just as a religious mark but also as a sign of safe, hygienic, and reliable food, the research firm said on its website.
“I know we’re trying to work hard on this but I don’t know when… We’re still far from it… because first of all, we do have a Muslim population and they’re eating halal food, but you need to be competitive,” Mr. Barcelon said.
Philexport, PCCI, and the DTI have been working to expand the halal market in the Philippines, hoping to grow the country’s food and agriculture industry, he noted.
The DTI expects the Philippine halal industry to bring in P230 billion and create over 120,000 jobs for Filipinos in the next five years.
Such goals are achievable, said Mr. Barcelon. “But we must be competitive.”
The DTI said that the development of the halal industry aligns with its four primary objectives: fostering regional growth, achieving food security, enhancing and expanding micro- to medium-sized enterprises, and enabling job skills matching and skills upgrading. — Aaron Michael C. Sy