Turkey has taken the first step toward achieving its goal to be a halal food center. According to a decision by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkey will be the showcase of the OIC Halal Expo. Discover Events Chairman Yunus Ete said: “Halal Expo has become the only halal fair that OIC officially supports.” Having signed an agreement with the OIC, the country is now preparing to host the 5th OIC Halal Expo under the auspices of the presidency of the Republic of Turkey.
Turkey has become the showcase of the world halal market, which covers many large sectors, including food, finance, textiles, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and is worth $3 trillion. The OIC signed an agreement to hold the halal fair, which had been held more than once a year in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai, only in Turkey from now on. Under the agreement, the Halal Expo fair will be the only halal fair officially supported by the OIC. The 57 OIC member states will attend the fair. This year, the World Halal Fair will take place from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25 in cooperation with the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE), the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) and Discover Events.
Ete said that various institutions around the world grant halal certification, but it is not based on a single standard. “The OIC is conducting major work with the halal accreditation body, SMIIC, to ensure a single halal certificate. The first step to collect the halal standard under a single roof has been taken with the OIC’s decision to hold halal fairs in Turkey,” he said.
Underlining that Turkey aims to determine the world’s halal standard, Ete said that it would also determine the $3 trillion market. Pointing to the fact that the U.K. is carrying out a project to grant halal certification in cooperation with Dubai to become a party in the market, Ete said: “Muslim countries see it as a priority for a Muslim country to determine the criteria. Turkey is the strongest candidate.”
According to Ete, the fair will be held simultaneously with the 33rd Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) Ministers Meeting in Istanbul from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23. Ministers from the 57 OIC countries who will attend the meeting,are also expected to visit the fair. Ete said that Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) Secretary-General Hamed Hassan Merah, Islamic Development Bank President Bandar Hajjar, International Islamic Fiqh Academy Secretary-General Abdul Salam al-Abbadi and former Bahraini Foreign Minister Nazar al-Baharna will attend the summit.
In November 2016, the World Halal Summit, held at the Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center between Dec. 15 and Dec. 17 in collaboration with the TSE and SMIIC, brought together prominent people in the halal sector and producers from around the world along with 26 high-level speakers from Turkey and 26 other countries.