Hong Kong and China food manufacturers urged to grab a slice of the growing halal market
The US$3.2 trillion halal food and product market could hasten the development of high-quality accreditation services in Hong Kong and the mainland, a leading expert in Muslim affairs said.
“The halal market continues to expand. There is increasing global demand,” said Wang Guoliang, head of Muslim affairs at certification body MCH Halal.
Speaking before dozens of food company executives at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai yesterday, the Beijing-based expert projected that the annual value of the global halal market, encompassing food, medicine and healthcare products, would double to US$6.4 trillion in 2018.
He attributed this projection to the world’s rising Muslim population, totalling 1.8 billion people, based on most recent figures.
Halal cuisine, food prepared in accordance with strict standards, was also winning over non-Muslims for its health benefits, Wang said. “It’s pork-free and alcohol-free. It can help people maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Wang also noted that the mainland’s halal food exports only accounted for 0.02 per cent of the global halal food trade, which is valued at US$500 billion.
Wang said halal food exporters on the mainland had ample room for expansion: “There are thousands of halal food producers on the mainland. It’s just that they need accreditation to boost consumer confidence.”
Rusli Mohd Nor, an adviser to the Malaysian government on Muslim affairs, said Malaysia was working with mainland businesses to certify their halal products. “Mainland China’s halal products can be exported to Muslim countries all over the world,” he said.