Though predominantly a Buddhist country, Thailand remains one of the giants of Halal products. The Southeast Asia country current exports 5.6 per cent of the world’s Halal products, the fifth highest. And they want to expand further.
Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu said recently that Thailand hopes to strengthen its Halal industry to ensure it meets world and local standards as well as enhance its ability to certify Halal products.
Thailand is eyeing products such as livestock, fruits, fisheries, vegetables and even tourism and healthcare.
The strategy focuses on the Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satun and Songkhla areas – all southern provinces with large Muslim populations.
The Thai government is hoping to expand its Halal exports by 10 per cent every year between 2010 and 2014, according to a Bangkok Post report.
The paper reported that, in 2008, Thai Halal exports were worth more than US$152 million in 2008, an increase of more than 50 per cent from 2007, though it is expected to shrink this year because of global economic woes.