The Halal Product Assurance Organizing Agency (BPJPH), an organization under the Ministry of Religious Affairs, invited 104 halal certification agencies from 40 countries to the Halal 20 (H20) Forum in Semarang, Central Java that would take place from November 17 to 19.
The Forum aims to foster, promote, and enhance cooperation in Halal product certification in the global halal market based on the principles of mutual understanding, acceptance, and mutual benefit.
BPJPH Chair Muhammad Aqil Irham told Media Indonesia that the H20 Forum would be an opportunity for the Indonesian government to introduce the Agency to its global peers.
“[We try] to accommodate [questions] and provide explanations about the Agency to the 104 halal institutions from 40 countries, everything at once,” Irham said on Monday (14/11).
A 2014 Law mandated BPJPH to take over the identification and certification of halal products from MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council), but the Agency only began operating in 2019.
Irham viewed that engaging in global talks is necessary, as cooperation in the global halal market would push halal products to contribute positively to the world’s economic recovery post the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is important, especially when we want to make distribution agreements for halal products between countries in the future,” Irham continued.
Even though Indonesia has maintained its fourth place in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI), according to the 2022 State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report by DinarStandard, Indonesia continues to demonstrate increased performance in its efforts to improve its Halal Food ranking.
“Indonesia through BPJPH has taken various concrete steps to accelerate halal certification processes, one of them is digitalization, and also consolidating the collaboration with stakeholders to speed up halal certifications for SMEs,” Irham explained.
“The amount of public awareness on the importance of consuming halal products is a significant drive for the accelerated growth of the halal industry,” said Irham, adding that nowadays, halal products are more than just a religious requirement. In other countries, halal certification is also a standard for excellence, quality, and hygiene.
For this reason, Indonesia’s opportunity to expand its export of halal products abroad can grow substantially by securing as much international cooperation in Halal Product Certification with various halal agencies in other countries.
As a target market for global halal products, Indonesia has to prove itself as a globally competitive producer. The country possesses the halal capital to develop an extensive halal industry ecosystem. As a country with the world’s largest Muslim population and abundant natural resources, Indonesia has great potential for creating a solid national halal ecosystem. As such, the world should undoubtedly see Indonesia as worthy of the title ‘global halal pioneer.’
“With the steady growth of the digital Islamic finance sector and Indonesia as a ‘home’ for Sharia fintech, our halal industry will continue to consolidate,” concluded Irham. (Gan/Iam/H-1)