More firms in Chile are getting halal certification to enable their products to be exported to Muslim countries including Malaysia.
Islamic Centre of Chile secretary-general Mohamd Said Rumie said this year the centre had received 25 new applications for halal certification, mostly from olive oil, dry fruits and meat producers.
A total of 54 halal-certified Chilean companies are exporting fruits, vegetables, chemicals and dairy and meat products to the Middle East, he said.
He also urged Malaysian companies to set up their halal business in Chile, saying there are huge opportunities for halal food, especially processed meat, which is non-existent in the country.
The centre, a non-political and non-profit religious body formed 20 years ago, not only provides spiritual guidance to the the country’s 3,000-strong Muslim community but is also a halal-certification body. It was acknowledged as such by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) in 2009.
As a result of different arrangements made by the Chilean Trade Commission (ProChile), the centre has since 2008 been providing halal certificates for companies to export to Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In 2010, ProChile and Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service certified several beef and lamb abattoirs, enabling them to export halal meat to the UAE and Malaysia.
“We export to Muslims in Europe and there are also companies that are exporting seafood to the Middle East. Our intention is to export all the halal food in Chile,” he added.