@Halal May/Jun 2020 - Page 30

30 Asia Pacific News Glam Halal | may-june. 2020 Restaurants, eateries, and street vendors all bear the ‘Halal’ mark to serve Muslims. ASEAN and China – Finding a separate path Forget Halal’s ‘pie’ According to data from the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), the number of Muslims worldwide is 1.6 billion. Therefore, the Halal industry (which provides products and services suitable for Muslims) is thriving in the world, worth US$2,300b each year. In ASEAN, half of the population is Muslim. The Halal industry has become a potential industry and is continuing to grow. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hang, Head of Marketing Department of Halal Certification Office, said the Muslim market has excellent purchasing power and has a high demand for Vietnamese products such as agricultural products and seafood. They are also willing to spend and buy halal products and services. This market does not have many technical barriers and tariffs. However, the products need Halal certification. A common misconception is that Halal foods are simple, just without pork. Halal foods include the application of processes related to slaughtering, processing and other types of livestock and poultry such as chickens, ducks, cows, goats, sheep and even seafood. For example, many people assume that seafood is Halal foods by default, but if seafood farmers are using non-Halal foods, this means the products they create are not Halal foods. This is also the reason why Malaysian businesses do not import seafood from Vietnam, even though this is one of Vietnam’s stable commodities, and Malaysia is a country that consumes a lot of seafood. Also, during processing, management must separate Halal and non-Halal products. A franchise consultant for the Malaysian government, Nguyen Phi Van, said the food market for Muslims was now very fertile. According to Phi Van, businesses need to change mindsets. Currently, the largest Muslim population is in Indonesia. But entering this market is not easy because there are many legal and import barriers. ASEAN and China markets have plenty of room for Vietnamese goods, especially potential market niches that Vietnamese enterprises have not been interested in a long time. In the next 15 years, products and services imported into China will surpass US$30,000b, and this is also considered an excellent opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises. However, for a long time, Vietnamese enterprises have been familiar with the concept of China as an easy-going market, while maintaining the habit of exporting through unofficial trade channels, thus increasing the risks, challenging to access information and lacking information. knowledge of regulations and market requirements.” — Ngo Tuan, Chinese Consulate General in Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnamese businesses first go to Malaysia as a “springboard” to other markets such as Myanmar and Brunei and then Indonesia. There are many Halal certification organisations in Vietnam. Some enterprises in Vietnam claim to be halal-certified, but exports were returned due to non-conformity certificates. Therefore, for businesses to enter these markets, needs not only their own efforts but also the assistance of authorities. Looking at China in the middlehigh segment Like the ASEAN market, China is also a vast market for Vietnam’s exports. According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, in the first 11 months of 2018, export turnover from Vietnam to China was more than US$38.1b, up 23.2 per cent over the same period to Vietnam’s average to other markets. Export items from Vietnam to China grew strongly and reached a value of over US$1b with products such as vegetables, rubber, textile fibres and textiles. Sharing with DTTC, Vo Quang Huy, Director of Huy Long An Co., Ltd, said Vietnamese farmers and businesses should change their mindsets about China, which is a natural and low-price segment. Vietnam has the added advantage of being very close to China, so the cost of shipping is also cheaper. Huy Long An’s bananas are also entering this segment. Agreeing with this view, Ung Ung Lam, Director of Global Import-Export Consultancy Company, also said the most open market wouldn’t be accessible anymore if businesses do not change the way they conduct their transactions. China is becoming a market with high requirements on product quality. Recently, some Chinese localities have issued regulations on traceability for some agricultural products of Vietnam. Besides, the Chinese side also tightened management of food safety and quarantine barriers.