The first international halal export conference to be hosted in Cape Town ends today (Wednesday).
The inaugural ‘Halal Products and Services Inward Buying Mission’ aimed to showcase the region’s offering and infrastructure to delegates, facilitate new business streams and build long-term partnerships.
Confirmed buyers at the two day event included representatives from UAE, Singapore, Middle East, Malaysia, Europe and the UK representing multinational firms.
The event is part of an ambitious strategy by Wesgro, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment promotion agency to enable the Western Cape Province to become one of the leading global exporters in the trillion dollar Halal products and services market.
This includes initiatives to double the region’s exports by 2025 which will bring an estimated US$58 million to the economy.
UK-based CM Media, which has co-organised the event with Wesgro, said the conference was part of a longer-term plan by Cape Town and the Western Cape to host the biggest Halal expo in Africa in October 2018.
UAE is currently the biggest country of export for Halal products and services from Cape Town and the Western Cape.
Wesgro plans to target Indonesia, India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, China, UK and the Netherlands over the space of the next two years.
It has identified a number of key sectors to promote including meats, dairy, fresh fruit, juices and non-alcoholic drinks, confectionery, sauces, seasoning, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, Halal tourism and Halal education.
According to the latest figures, the Western Cape has recorded an annual average export growth of 17.84% over the last five years – worth $9 billion. Halal exports – which include meat, dairy, fresh fruit, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals – currently contribute less than one per cent of that total.