Vietnam should tap Halal market's potential: Deputy Minister hinh anh 1At the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam should strive to tap the potential Halal market considering its location in Southeast Asia - South Asia - South Pacific region, which is home to 860 million Muslims, accounting for 66 percent of the total Muslim population in the world, Nguyen Quoc Dung, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

Dung made the call at a workshop held on December 20 by the Ministry of Foreign Affair in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on exports to the Halal market.

"Even in the domestic market, the demand for Halal products is also growing as the number of Muslims coming to Vietnam to travel, work and study is on the rise. The Muslim community in Vietnam is also increasing day by day," hesaid.

The deputy minister noted that however, only about 50 Vietnamese companies are granted Halal certificates each year. Currently, Vietnam has about 20 items exported to the Halal market, a very small number compared to the potential, Dung said, adding that up to 40 percent of Vietnamese localities do not have Halal-certified products.

Phung Duc Tien, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said 50 percent of Vietnamese agricultural products such as rice, vegetables, tea, coffee, cashew and pepper are considered very suitable for the Halal market.

But participants at the event said enterprises are facing many difficulties in exploiting this market due to differences in business culture, consumer tastes and especially Halal certification. The existence of many Halal systems and different standards for each product is also a problem, they said.

Samina Naz, the Bangladeshi Ambassador to Vietnam, said Bangladesh is a large market with high potential. The ambassador wanted the Bangladeshi business community in Vietnam to participate in the production and supply of food to Bangladesh. She also said Vietnamese investors can go to Bangladesh to invest in cattle breeding because this is an area of great demand in the country and can grow very quickly.

Meanwhile, Tran Viet Thai, Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia said the number of Vietnamese agricultural products exported to Malaysia is still limited, most of them haven’t been processed and the export is made via Thai traders, so the value is not high. According to him, long-term strategies are needed to penetrate the Halal market./.