Wesgro aims to tap Thai halal market

Thailand is a key target destination in the trillion-dollar halal products and services market because of its large Muslim population.

Wesgro, Cape Town and Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency has developed an ambitious strategy to place Western Cape province as one of the leading global exporters in the halal products and services market.

Under the initiative, the agency aims to double the region’s exports by 2025, with Thailand a key target destination. The plan is expected to generate an estimated US$58 million for the province’s economy.

As part of the plan, Wesgro will host, for the first time, a small scale conference in Cape Town showcasing halal exports for local and international buyers on Oct 25.

The conference is a key step in the long term plan of hosting the biggest Halal expo in Africa in October 2018.

In the last five years, Western Cape has experienced an annual average export growth rate of 17.8%. Halal exports, which include meat, dairy, fresh fruit, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, currently contribute less than 1% of the $9 billion export figure.

“Wesgro has intensified its trade efforts within the international Halal sector. Since the inception of the export promotion programme in 2016, the total trade value secured from the international market has been estimated at R320million (794 million baht),” said chief executive Tim Harris.

“We have more workshops and inward/outward missions to key halal markets lined up over the next financial year, and in 2018 will host the first African Halal Expo in Cape Town.”

Bilal Domah, from UK-based CM Media, a co-organiser of the event, said the conference is a springboard to a longer-term initiative targeting destinations such as Thailand.

“Western Cape already has excellent infrastructure alongside some of the best products and services for the Muslim market which are a perfect fit for Thailand,” said Mr Domah.

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