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DTI Chief Targets to Develop and Expand Domestic Halal Industry

PASAY CITY–Acknowledging the importance of developing the halal industry in pursuit of a robust economic growth, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual highlighted the Department’s initiatives in pursuing bilateral and multilateral agreements aligned with DTI’s export development goals during the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy’s (PTTC-GMEA) National Halal Capacity Building Program held on 18 April 2023.

During his keynote speech, he shared that “For our outbound business matching missions, we have organized the Special Trade Missions in time for the Gulfood exhibit in Dubai, and our participation in the upcoming Malaysia International Halal Showcase. For our inbound business matching missions, we also have built the Halal Pavilion in preparation for the upcoming International Food Expo this May 26-28, 2023 in the Philippines.”

The PTTC-GMEA’s program with the theme “Global Halal Excellence: Upskilling, Reskilling, and Converging Halal Capability Building” provided training and upskilling for attendees regarding various halal-related technical knowledge, which aligns with one of DTI’s priorities—upskilling Filipino workers.

“We see halal food as a sunrise industry. The growing Muslim population is a strong demand driver of the halal economy. Estimated at 1.9 billion in 2020, Muslims are 25% of the world’s population and projected to grow up to 2 billion by 2030,” Secretary Pascual elaborated.

This demographic trend presents huge opportunities to expand the halal export market and strengthen their investment source. Currently, halal countries are gaining attention as they pump investment into the development of the industry.

Further, the Philippine government is also active in its pursuit of developing and promoting the halal industry through three separate active engagements—one with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Gulf Accreditation Center, and the International Halal Accreditation Forum. Aside from this, the government seeks to renew its agreement with Brunei Darussalam and forge trade agreements with its neighboring countries in the ASEAN region.

As the Global Halal Industry gains attention, the Philippine market can leverage its dynamic micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in the halal industry to likewise upskill and reskill its workforce.

Secretary Pascual also mentioned that developing the halal industry forms part of the four priorities of the DTI: (1) Promoting regional development; (2) Attaining food security; (3) Upgrading, upskilling, upsizing MSMEs; and (4) Enabling job-skills matching and skills upgrading.

The Department is also steadfast in developing the domestic halal industry and capacitating producers, especially those located within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which is home to majority of the Filipino Muslim population.

Further, through the Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016, the Halal Board under DTI is also mandated to craft the Philippine Halal Development Plan to implement initiatives and programs to diversify the Halal food ecosystem.

In pursuit of realizing the huge potential of Mindanao as a food basket, Secretary Pascual also mentioned that “We link food producers directly with the markets or consumers through technology-led systems. In fact, some Filipino agritech startups are already providing digital services to local farmers.”

He also added that the DTI is currently collaborating with Philippine halal certification bodies, state universities and colleges, local government units, major supermarkets, digital distribution partners, and other stakeholders to develop the country’s halal ecosystem.



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