Road map for $3T world halal market to be drawn up in Turkey
by Betül Alakent
ISTANBULDec 05, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Betül Alakent
Dec 05, 2016 12:00 am
A road map for the global halal market, worth $3 trillion by 2015 estimates, covering everything from finance, tourism and food, will be drawn in Istanbul, Turkey, as it prepares to host Halal Expo 2016 Dec. 15-17. With at least 30 countries expected to participate, the event will represent a sector that has experienced growth of over 10 percent per year and reached the $3 trillion threshold in 2015. Aimed at establishing a worldwide standard for halal certification, which is granted by various organizations in different countries, the expo will be held in Istanbul's Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center and is expected to welcome about 50,000 participants, including 10,000 from various countries. Halal Expo 2016 is organized in cooperation with the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).
Saudi Prince among attendees
Inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 15, some 60 high-level speakers, including Saudi Prince Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, who inaugurated the first Islamic bank in Turkey, will attend the fair's main sessions, conferences and workshops. Sponsored by Sabah daily, the expo will have Chairman Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Chairman of the hosting Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and Islamic Development Bank President Bandar Al Hajjar as keynote speakers. The guest list includes Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) President Mehmet Ali Akben, Central Bank President Murat Çetinkaya and Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Görmez. Worldwide standards for halal certification will be specified following the conferences, and various workshops are to be held throughout the fair.
Spain eyes the halal market
Yunus Ete, the chairman of Discovery Event, which is organizing the Halal Expo this year, confirmed the continuing demand in the event, noting that they have received participation requests from Russia and Spain along with other Muslim majority countries. Ete said Spain, which has recently realized the size of the global halal market and launched a bold investment move towards halal tourism, is quite eager to participate in the event. He said they are currently assessing the country's suitability for the required criteria in cooperation with SMICC.
Pointing out that global standards on the halal certification would be determined following the conferences held at the expo, Ete said, Turkey may rise to the position of the issuer country responsible for awarding halal certification in the world, as it is a Muslim majority country and has developed the necessary infrastructure and labs. He said if Turkey can become the issuer country for halal certification, then firms around the world have to receive the certification here, positioning Turkey as the hub of halal standards.
Halal Stock Exchange to be established
Pointing out that the first step regarding the issue of halal certification was taken by establishing public participation banks, Ete noted that in addition to Turkey's position as the halal certification center and the growing market, a considerable amount of Islamic funds is expected to flow into the country. Underscoring that some Islamic finance institutions are poise to bring their headquarters here, Ete said Turkey is preparing to establish a Turkish Halal Stock Market, suggesting that these projects will gain momentum along with the Finance Center.
Britain and Dubai turn to halal certification market
Ete said Britain and Dubai have both been eyeing the halal market for some time and conducting their own projects to determine halal certification standards. "However, Muslim countries do not want this. Therefore, the Islamic Cooperation Agency has taken actions to determine these standards. Since the current SMICC chairman is a Turkish citizen, the goal is to make Turkey the hub of halal certification," he said.
SMIIC's current chairman is Sebahattin Korkmaz, who is also the president of the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE).
Market leader is Malaysia
Financial activities in the halal market have reached about $1.7 trillion, while the other related figures are estimated at $800 billion in the halal food market, $300 billion in halal tourism and $200 billion in the pharmaceutical, chemistry and textile industries.