Philippines eyes Gulf countries for halal exports

A Philippine trade delegation is set to make a fresh pitch to Gulf countries this month, showcasing the country’s halal products in an effort to gain a bigger piece of this $ 3.2-trillion global industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said that 26 Philippine exporters of halal-certified food, personal care and cosmetic products will join the outbound business matching mission to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries it organized from Feb 11 to 25.

The DTI said the mission will cover Manama, Bahrain from February 11 to 13, Kuwait City, Kuwait from Feb 13 to 14, and Doha, Qatar from Feb 14 to 16.

It will culminate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Feb 16 to 25, in time for Gulfood 2023, which is touted as the world’s most extensive annual food and beverage sourcing event.

“The Philippines is continuously strengthening its halal ecosystem to be able to better serve the growing global halal market. The mission aims to contribute to increased understanding of Philippine exporters on the halal market in the GCC, especially for the 15 exporters who are first time participants to the OBMM,” said DTI Trade Promotion Group Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda.

The Philippine food companies participating in the trade mission include Cattleya & Rose Gourmet Foods Trading, Eng Seng Food Products, Francoeur Merchandising, Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines, Fruits of Life Inc, G5 International Corporation, Good Sense Food and Juices Corporation, Innovative Packaging Industry Corporation, Jamla Corporation, La Carlota Food Enterprise, Liwayway Marketing Corporation, Lorenzana Food Corporation, Mega Global Corporation, Mica By The Sea Company, Miguelitos International Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Pearl Foods International Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods Inc, Sagrex Foods Inc., Sandbox Middle East, See’s International Food Mfg. Corp., Turn Fruit Trading DMCC, and Villa Socorro Farm.

Meanwhile, the cosmetics and personal care exporters which will be part of the trip are C and H Cosmetics Industry, Greenstone Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Jegen SWE Enterprises.

LBC Solutions Middle East, a service and business solutions firm, is also part of the Philippine delegation.
The DTI said that the GCC market serves as an important launchpad and driver for helping local medium, small and micro enterprises reach international markets, especially for halal exporters due to its unique market characteristics.

It hosts roughly half of the total number of overseas Filipino workers, serving as an anchor market for Philippine products abroad including food and personal care products according to the DTI.

The DTI said further that the event also serves as a good market for both mainstream and niche products given its cultural and economic diversity, with it being one of the largest markets for halal food products with its large Muslim population.

In 2021, the United Arab Emirates accounted for 61.48 percent of Philippine exports to the GCC, followed by Saudi Arabia at18.38 percent and Qatar at 10.69 percent based on figures from the DTI.