REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Global Islamic expert estimated that Southeast Asia would be region with the biggest growth in halal industry. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims who are looking for products, goods, services and finances as part of halal lifestyle.
Chairman of Indonesian Food & Beverage Association (GAPMMI), Andhi S Lukman recognized that ASEAN had great potential as halal market industry. It means manufacturers of ASEAN countries, also China and Europe seeking this market, especially Indonesia that has 88 percent of Muslim population.
Halal certification is not only coming from local producers but also foreign producers. Ahead of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, halal goods and services can be more opened in market. GAPMMI incorporated in ASEAN food and Beverage Alliance had declared to apply mutual recognition related to halal certification. Ten ASEAN countries need to undertake halal standardization approval. Every institution needs to unify the vision, particularly in protecting consumers.
“It needs a mutual recognition,” Lukman said on Thursday.
Food and beverage entrepreneurs in Indonesia must improve their competitiveness. It is because without increasing the competitiveness in larger market, Indonesia will get problem in ASEAN market as 99 percent of food and beverage businesses in this country are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, government is better to encourage halal certification with special treatment to SMEs. – Ichsan Emrald Alamsyah/Mutia Ramadhani