A two-day international conference opened Monday with discussions focused on the challenges facing the emerging Halal industry which is estimated at USD 700 billion annually.
The 7th international conference on Halal food and products began in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Monday.
The two-day conference is focused on the emerging markets for Halal products, which are in accordance with Islamic teachings and tenets.
The Halal Food Council of Europe, based in Brussels, has organized the event.
Iqbal Ahmed Qureshi, director of the council, said the conference is an opportunity for discussing the rules and criteria for issuing Halal certificates in the next decade.
He noted that use of Halal products is growing in the world and even among non-Muslims.
According to Qureshi, people in North America and Europe spent 48 billion dollars for Halal food.
Halal means permissible in the Islamic Sharia law and covers everything from food to finance, logistics and tourism.
The global halal industry is estimated to be worth more than $2 trillion, including a $1 trillion food market which is expanding.
A growing middle-class Muslim population compounded by rising demand from non-Muslim nations has sparked a race among many countries to scrape a niche in the halal market.
Major Muslim countries from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Turkey and Pakistan to non-Muslim nations such as Japan, New Zealand and the UK are jockeying for position in the market.