The Philippines is set to launch a National Halal Strategy with the goal of attracting investments totaling P230 billion and generating 120,000 jobs over the next five years. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced the strategy, emphasizing its focus on meeting the growing demand for halal products and services domestically and internationally. The plan aims to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in becoming integral players in the global halal ecosystem.
DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual highlighted the Philippines’ intention to actively participate in the rapidly growing halal industry, projected to reach a market value of $7.7 trillion by 2025. The strategy encompasses various sectors beyond food, including Islamic finance, halal-friendly travel and tourism, modest fashion, halal pharmaceuticals, and halal cosmetics.
The DTI leads a nine-government inter-agency task force responsible for creating a roadmap for the National Halal Strategy. The task force includes the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Department of Agriculture, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Tourism, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Mindanao Development Authority.
To integrate MSMEs into the halal plan, the DTI has partnered with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao (BARMM)-Ministry of Trade, Investment, and Tourism. A P66 million budget will be utilized to promote halal local goods and services provided by MSMEs. The DTI has also initiated halal training programs and certifications for slaughterhouses in the Philippines.
Next month, a Halal Convention Expo and a halal preparedness and certification training program are scheduled to take place. The Philippine Trade Training Center has signed agreements for halal training, and over 100 MSMEs in Marawi are being prepared for halal certification as part of the economic rebuilding efforts for the Maranao people.
The strategic halal plan aligns with the Philippines’ commitment to building capacity in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, particularly in sectors such as the halal industry, Islamic banking, and food security. Additionally, the Philippines is set to sign a landmark agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after reaffirming its commitment to enhancing economic ties with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. The Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was signed in February 2022, with talks ongoing for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.