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PH delegation attends biggest Halal exhibition in UAE

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine delegation to the biggest Halal exhibition in the
Middle East eyes the help of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to help develop the
countrys Islamic economic affairs. Part of the delegations agenda in the 3rd OIC Halal Middle
East 2014 is to learn best Halal industry practices of different OIC-member countries. The annual
event, touted as the only exhibition of its kind in the Middle East, will run from December 8 to
10 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and showcases industries adhering to the
Halal-standard from pharmaceuticals, services, ingredients, to banking. The county needs to
tap expertise from the OIC to improve its industries which adhere to the sharia, said Aleem
Siddiqui Guiapal, bureau director of the National Council on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) economic
The Philippines has only 3 accredited halal-certifying bodies, according to Muslim Filipino
consumer watchdog Alliance for Halal Integrity in the Philippines. The lone Islamic financial body
in the country the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines also needs technical
help from the OIC, said Guiapal. The lone Islamic bank has been operating since 1974 and has
suffered losses. In 2012, it said it was looking for a strategic partner as it has struggled to sustain
its operations amid a reported loss of P30.6 million ($680,757.28*).
We have experts but no institutional expertise to run an Islamic bank, Guiapal said. In
contrast to commercial banks, Al-Amanah does not collect interest and is not permitted to
transact investments involving alcohol, gambling, and pork. It has been deemed important in
financing small businesses especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The assets of lslamic financial institutions around the world rose to $1.8 trillion between 2003
and 2013, according to estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and
other global economic bodies. The NCMF did not disclose though how much committed
investments it expects to bring home to the Philippines. Were focused on the technical sharing
between the NCMF and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center, Guiapal said. Mick
Basa /
For me, the Philippine delegation of Halal organization would contribute to the
achievement of national peace and economic development through the establishment of the
relationship and respect among Filipino Muslims and Christians and the integration of Philippine
trade and commerce into the customs and business practices of the Muslim world. It will also
help the need to establish product export strategies that will guide the export promotion and
development thrusts of the government and to implement programs and activities geared

towards the promotion of Philippine exports in the overseas markets. This will also promote and
respect the rights and well-being of all Filipinos, including Muslim Filipinos, recognize their
contribution to national goals and aspirations, and encourage their active participation in nation