Islamabad, April 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain on Monday inaugurated “D-8 Experts Group meeting on Halal Sector Development” here at local hotel.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the two day meeting, the minister said that the theme of this meeting “harmonizing Halal practices -let’s do it together” in itself conveys the need of mutually supported and con sensually built strategies for moving ahead to address this subject of international significance.
Rana Tanveer Hussain said that this event would not only strengthen the unified comprehensions on subject rather it would go much further trade relationship in Halal Sector among the D-8 countries. He said that the federal government for the first time is enacting a law for promoting export and import of food and non food products and to encourage development of Halal industry in the country through policy interventions. The minister said that Pakistan Halal Authority (PHA) is being established through an Act of the Parliament with a purpose to promote import and export, trade and commerce with foreign countries and inter-provincial trade and commerce in Halal articles and processes.
He said that the ministry attached departments has taken a number of initiatives and steps to promote the Halal sector, adding that this includes formulation of relevant standards, establishment of Halal authentication laboratory at PCSIR Labs Complex, Lahore and Launching of Halal Accreditation Scheme according to Pakistan Standard PS 4992-2010 formulated in-line with the requirements of OIC/ SMIIC Halal Guidelines.
Highlighting the importance of trade the minister said that Trade was of immense importance for cooperation among the D-8 countries as the volume of D-8 intra-trade increased remarkably to almost US$ 150 billion 2014 from US$ 15 billion in 1997. The D-8 Leadership was aiming to increase the intra-trade up to USD 500 billion by 2018. This mark will be achieved not only by the D-8 main instruments but also by improved linkages and efficient networking among D-8 private sectors. “The Global Halal Market is currently valued in 2 trillion dollars, of which 700 billion dollar is Islamic market. Cooperation amongst the D-8 countries in the Halal Sector provides an excellent opportunity to increase the share of D-8 countries in the world Halal Market” he added.
He said that the two day event will also provide an opportunity to contribute towards capacity building, human resource development and knowledge sharing which are imperative for the growth of the Halal industry. He appreciated the ministry of Science and Technology, PSQCA, PNAC and PCSIR for their efforts for organizing and hosting such an event.
Participants from Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran and Pakistan are participating in the Expert Group meeting which will focus on increasing the trade in Halal Sector among the D-8 countries by strengthening and harmonizing standards, conformity assessment procedures and technical regulations for Halal food products and services.
The scope of the Halal sector covers a wide range of items such as food, pharmaceuticals, health, food supplements and toiletries etc.
This is the first meeting of its kind on Halal Sector Development from the platform of D-8. The two-day D-8 Expert Group Meeting on Halal Sector will provide platform for experts from the member countries to meet, discuss and exchange the ideas on new research findings, emerging technologies, trends, issues and challenges in the Halal industry of D-8 Member countries.
Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) Kamran Ali Qureshi, Additional Secretary Mian Ejaz Ahmad ,Joint Technological Ad visor MoST Muhammad Khalid Siddiq and other senior officials of Ministry also attended the event.
Addressing on the occasion, Secretary Science and Technology stressed on the Muslim Countries to come forward for strengthening Halal foods industry to fill the vacuum. He also appealed the meeting to devise an actionable plan for the future for their economic security.
“Cooperation among the D-8 countries in the Halal Sector provides an excellent opportunity to increase the share of D-8 countries in the world Halal Market,” he added.
He said that the Expert Group Meeting is expected to be the building block in bridging the gaps for market access of Halal products and services among D-8 Member countries.
“It will explore new dimensions and map new findings in harmonizing technical regulations among D-8 Member countries,” he remarked.
The report of this D-8 Expert Group meeting will be submitted to the next D-8 summit,” he added.
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