The first Sarajevo Halal Fair officially kicked off on Thursday in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) capital Sarajevo, with a special focus on Islamic-compliant, halal nutrition.
The official ceremony was opened by the main organizer, Amer Bukvic, director of Bosna Bank International (BBI) who pointed out that halal industry is the fastest growing consumers’ segment in the world.
“The current estimates show that the global halal market has 1.6 billion consumers. Halal food market has expanded to travel, fashion, finance, cosmetics,” Bukvic said.
He added that halal market reaches to non-Muslim consumers as well, who associate the food with ethical consumerism and healthy lifestyle.
During three days of the fair, 91 exhibitors from 14 countries will present their products, including food, beverages, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics, that are all produced in line with Islamic law, without the presence of pork, alcohol, or traces of blood.
Chairman of BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic said that the halal market in 2016 amounted to 5.73 trillion U.S. dollars, and highlighted the importance of BiH being part of this big market.
“There are more than 85 companies with halal certificate in BiH, while in the region there are over 120, offering more than 4,500 products and services,”Zvizdic noted.
Founder of Sarajevo Halal Fair, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, addressed the audience via video call from New York, expressing his hopes that the fair will become the largest of this kind in Southeast Europe.
“Malaysia is the leader in the halal economy and it is encouraging to see that this sector is constantly developing and growing. The Sarajevo Halal Fair can become a platform for big investments in BiH and the region,” Mohamad stated.
From Sept.27-29, the fair will offer panel discussions on Islamic finance, first halal cookbook, numerous roundtable discussions, cooking shows and presentations.
The common aim of the fair is to create a productive environment and present an opportunity to achieve enormous business potentials due to the increasing demand for halal products and services worldwide.
(Source: Sarajevo Times, photo Fena)