Pakistan’s top business body calls for enhancing halal food exports to GCC countries

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top business body has said the South Asian country should aim to enhance its halal food exports to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries – a region he believes holds the key to enhancing the cash-strapped nation’s food exports. 

A delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, headed by its president Atif Ikram Sheikh, represented the country’s private sector at the Makkah Halal Forum 2024. The forum, held from Jan. 23-25 in Makkah, offered a platform for exhibitors worldwide to showcase the finest halal services and products. 

During the visit, the FPCCI delegation and the MANAFEA Agreement— a partnership of various Saudi chambers of commerce and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce— signed an agreement to enhance Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia in particular and Organization of Islamic Countries, the Pakistani business body said. 

Sheikh said the market for halal foods is growing in countries around the world, adding that Pakistan should take advantage of it. 

“He said Pakistan should aim to attain at least 1 percent of the market share over the next 3 – 5 years; and, that alone can mean exports of $25 billion as per the current market size,” the FPCCI said. 

Sheikh noted that the global market size for halal foods has reached a whopping $2.5 trillion, and that it would continue to grow at 13.5 percent per year for the next 10 years. He said as a result, the expected market size for halal foods can see an over two-fold increase and reach to $5.8 trillion by the year 2033. 

Sheikh said Pakistan has the capability to “swiftly” claim its share in the global halal foods market as all food products produced in the country are halal. 

“President FPCCI highlighted that tapping into GCC countries holds the key to multiplying Pakistani Halal foods exports; i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman,” the statement said.

The South Asian country enjoys fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other GCC nations. Over 2.5 million Pakistanis reside in the Kingdom, making it the country’s top source for remittances, while the UAE is a key trading partner for Pakistan in the Middle East. 


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