On Friday, Parliamentary Secretary Commerce Shandana Gulzar Khan informed the National Assembly that Pakistan has noticed an upsurge of $31.36 million in its total trade of Halal food with Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Countries in 2017-18.
While addressing the parliament, she said that the total trade of Halal food with OIC countries in 2016-17 was $226.97 million. However, the number surged to $258.3 million in 2017-18.
Trade details between Pakistan and OIC countries
In 2015-16, total exports were $222.04 million while the imports were $19.26 million. Therefore, the total sum in 2015-16 is $241.30 million. Similarly, the total trade of Halal foods dipped to $226.97 million in 2016-17. The total exports in the same time period were $202.18 and the imports were $24.78 million.
However, the period of 2017-18 proved to be fruitful as the total trade of Halal food between Pakistan and OIC countries were recorded at $258.3 million with the total exports recorded at $222.39 million and the imports were $35.94 million.
Government’s role in promoting export of Halal products
The parliament secretary asserted that the government is keen on promoting the export of Halal food products to some more OIC countries. She also affirmed that from July 2019, local producers and importers would be required to acquire Halal food certification.
Besides the aforementioned step, the present government is also taking the following steps:
- A meeting was held in September last year between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in which number of ideas were exchanged. As a result, as many as six meat exporting companies had inked contracts with the Saudi Food Drug Authority and they’ve been exporting meat to Saudi Arabia
- In September 2018, a session between Pak-Kuwait JMC took place. During the meeting, the mutual cooperation in the field of food and agriculture between the two countries was discussed.
- Pak-Oman JMC 7th session was conducted in January 2019. To enhance the cooperation in the field of food and agriculture was the motto between the two countries.
- UAE recently registered Pakistan’s three meat slaughterhouses and they are: CATCO, Fauji Meat and Halal. The technical team of UAE will be visiting Pakistan sometime later in the year to register two more companies.
- In 2018, three companies registered with Bahrain to export meat to the country.
- Formerly, Iran used to import meat only from Brazil. However, they have expanded their horizon and their traders will now also import meat from Pakistan.
- At present, a contract between Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is in the pipeline.
Apart from the all the aforementioned steps, Pakistan also takes part in various fairs all around with an aim to promote its Halal food exports to OIC countries and to some regions across the world.