PH seeks cooperation with Indonesia on Halal
The Philippine government is pursuing bilateral cooperation with Indonesia to facilitate trade, develop and promote the Halal industry and products especially with Indonesia’s implementation of new Halal regulations.
At the Doing Business in Indonesia webinar jointly organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy, DTI Jakarta and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Roberto C. Amores, director, PCCI welcomed this initiative, even noting that harmonization of standards and certification processes could increase the chances of Philippine halal products to access other markets like Indonesia.
“We hope this cooperation is facilitated very soon. While we recognize compliance with standards and certification, we hope this will not be as tedious and difficult as it is with respect to Indonesia once a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on halal certification and accreditation is finalized and approved,” Amores said.
Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, is a huge halal market to tap with its growing population of over 200 million. However, the trade imbalance between the two markets is high in favor of Indonesia. Amores hopes that this is mitigated with an MRA for halal products and services.
Dinar Standard Global Report 2019-2020 projects that global halal market could reach approximately USD7 trillion by 2024 with the following sectors topping the list, Islamic Finance, US$3.47 trillion; food and beverages, US$1.97 trillion; and, pharmaceutical, US$130 trillion.
Senen Perlada, director, DTI-Export Marketing Bureau, assured that the cooperation with Indonesia will be “facilitative than obstructive” and will not be burdensome to exporters and certifiers. He said the government is pursuing this initiative essentially to facilitate trade and ensure that Philippine halal products, certified by local certifying bodies, could easily enter the Indonesian market.
Indonesia’s new law on Halal Product Assurance, “regulates the material, processing, and certification of halal products, as well as international cooperation with foreign halal certification agencies.” It further requires all products that enter, are circulated and sold within Indonesia to be halal certified.
PCCI’s Halal Initiative
Amores also shared that PCCI has been at the forefront in promoting Halal export development in the country. In 2018, PCCI, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the country’s Halal Certifying Bodies, organized the National Halal Summit with almost 400 participants. In that Summit, a Pledge of Commitment was signed to collectively work for the development of the Philippine Halal Export Industry. Thereafter, a writeshop on ISO Certification (ISO/IEC 17065:2012) for Certification Bodies was conducted as required by the Philippine Accreditation Board (PAB) in compliance with the Republic Act 10817 or “An Act Instituting the Philippine Halal Export Development Program, Creating for the Purpose of the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board.”
PCCI has also facilitated meetings of local certifiers to discuss and address issues in harmonizing certain processes as pre-requisite to step up certification and accreditation of prospective Halal applicants. Some of these certifying bodies have actually become members of the PCCI.
Halal is always part of PCCI’s advocacy agenda under the ASPIRE (Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment of Regional Enterprises) Program to generate awareness on the huge opportunities of the multi-trillion global halal market.
Amores also said that PCCI has also been instrumental in the signing of cooperation between Palawan, Philippines, and Labuan, Malaysia to serve as a gateway for trade and commerce for Halal. Brookes Point Palawan CCI and Malaysia’s Labuan Chamber of Malay Entrepreneurs (LCME) signed the deal that seeks to establish and promote agricultural, livestock, and marine products, particularly those that are halal certified in Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.