COTABATO CITY: A forum in Washington, DC, hosted recently by the US Halal Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) looked at how producers of halal products in Mindanao could gain access to the US market.
A member of the Philippine delegation, Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, executive director of ARMM-Regional Economic Zone Authority, said Habib Ghanim, CEO of the US Halal Chamber of Commerce and other experts gave a briefing on business opportunities and challenges in the US halal trade.
Proposed during the forum, Guiapal said, was signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among PEZA, ARMM and the USHCC to formalize cooperation on the matter.
“I believe this will go a long way toward ensuring the empowerment of Mindanao ecozones,” PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman earlier this year officially declared the Polloc Freeport and Ecozone in Parang, Maguindanao as halal hub.
“The ARMM government is continually working to open the possibilities of halal market for the region as well as for the country,” Hataman said.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL