Govt to tap into global halal market

Govt to tap into global halal market

The government has approved the establishment of the Thailand Halal Taskforce aimed at tapping into the global halal food market worth US$30 trillion (960 trillion baht).

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Wednesday that the task force was formed by the committee on promoting halal-standard agricultural products with the goal of expanding trade cooperation and investment through halal industries.

The task force was formed under the Halal Blueprint initiative to promote halal exporters and boost Thailand's competitive edge in the halal market.

The task force is the integration of government agencies and private sectors, such as the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT), the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand, the Halal Institute at the Prince of Songkla University, and the Agriculture and Cooperatives, Commerce, Foreign Affairs and Industry ministries.

Mr Thanakorn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has followed the committee's progress as he has stressed the importance of expanding investments between countries to increase economic activity.

Thailand already ranks 13th among the world's largest halal food exporters, Mr Thanakorn said.

The government is confident an expanded halal food industry will reach more than two billion Muslims around the world, he said.

Mr Thanakorn said the government will also promote halal agriculture industries in the five predominantly Muslim southernmost provinces: Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, Satun and Songkhla.

This is not only part of the government's efforts to achieve halal food standards, but it's another means to expand international trade opportunities for the country's agricultural products, he said.

"After the prime minister managed to restore [diplomatic] relations with Saudi Arabia, Thailand exported the first lot of processed chickens to the kingdom on Monday," Mr Thanakorn said giving an example of a halal export.

"Within this year, more processed chickens worth between 400-500 million baht will be sent to Saudi Arabia," he said.

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