By Pablo Augusto
SÃO PAULO, 24th October, 2023 (WAM) — Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, says that the halal market has transcended the borders of Islamic and Arab countries and is experiencing a period of continuous growth due to growing demand from consumers around the world.
The statement came in a video message to open the Global Halal Brazil Business Forum (GHB), an event held in São Paulo between October 23rd and 24th. “Today, the market value of halal trade is estimated at more than US$2.2 trillion, and halal products represent 3.7 percent of total global trade, figures that are constantly increasing,” Dr. Al Zeyoudi remarked.
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade added that the UAE’s participation in the event is motivated by the desire to strengthen the relations with Brazil and other nations attending the forum, and enter into constructive dialogue to create opportunities in the halal industry and exchange knowledge and experiences in the sector.
“The UAE has adopted many pioneering initiatives to support and develop the Islamic economy of which the halal industry is one of its basic pillars, and we remain at the forefront of regional and global efforts to develop the halal industry,” the Minister affirmed.
Moreover, Dr. Al Zeyoudi emphasised that the UAE’s halal system is one of the most developed in its legislative and regulatory aspects, and that this expertise is ready to be shared with any nation around the world. “We are always ready to share our experience with countries that wish to benefit from it,” he said.
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade renewed calls for strengthening global cooperation in the halal industry as well as integrating modern technology to ensure the sustainable development of this sector. He expressed confidence that the Global Halal Brazil Forum will make an important contribution to these efforts.
Also, in a message to the event, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, highlighted that the nation’s exports to the countries of the Arab League reached a record revenue of US$17.74 billion in 2022. “These numbers reflect not only the confidence of Arab countries in the quality of Brazilian products but also our ability to meet the demands of this dynamic market,” stated Lula as he praised the Brazilian halal industry.
Furthermore, the Brazilian leader reminded the forum that Arab countries are part of a market that now represents almost two billion consumers worldwide. “Our manufacturers and entrepreneurs have shown a remarkable commitment to innovation and sustainability. The relentless pursuit of cleaner and more efficient agricultural and industrial practices is a testament to our commitment to protecting the environment and offering top-quality products. As one of the world’s largest food producers, particularly of meat, we have the vocation and capacity to supply the global market with Halal products of the highest quality,” affirmed the President of Brazil.
Brazil in the halal market
According to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), Brazil is already the world leader in the supply of food and beverages to the 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In 2022, says the entity, food and beverage exports to the bloc totalled US$23.4 billion. The figure places Brazil ahead of the United States, Indonesia, Türkiye, Australia, and China.
The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce states that, although the result is significant, the export list for the Islamic world is still limited to essential foods, mainly meat, sugar, grains, and cereals. “We need to diversify the export list, including value-added products, strengthen the promotion of Brazilian products even more intensely than we have been doing, make Brazil synonymous with respect for its traditions for Muslim consumers and expand the availability of halal-certified industrialised products, not just in the food segment,” said Osmar Chohfi, President of the organisation, at the opening of the Global Halal Brazil Business Forum.
About the Event
The Global Halal Brazil Business Forum gathers players involved in the sector, from scholars to authorities, businesspeople, and public representatives. The forum is in its second edition. It is promoted by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) and certification entity FAMBRAS Halal.
Besides the food and beverages segment, the Global Halal Brazil Business Forum will also focus on initiatives to develop the halal economy in Brazil in sectors such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, fashion, finance, and tourism. According to the organisers, the forum also aims to raise awareness among more players in Brazil about the prospects of the global halal market and to send a message to the Islamic world about the importance Brazil has in the industry as the leading global supplier of halal protein and its capacity to expand further.