TRADE SECRETARY Ramon M. Lopez encouraged Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) achieve Halal certification in order to broaden their markets.

In his keynote speech at the opening of the 2019 MSME Week by the Philippine Trade Training Center-Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA), Mr. Lopez said that businesses will grow “exponentially” if are Halal compliant because the global market for products conforming to Islamic dietary laws and food preparation practices is worth more than $2 trillion.

“Halal represents pureness, healthy lifestyle, food quality… it connotes many positive attributes and that’s the reason why a lot of opportunities will be there if you just try to Halal-certify your products,” he said.

Halal-certified products or services typically require a seal of accepted practices granted by an Islamic certifying organization.

Mr. Lopez reported that the industry is expected to grow to $10 trillion globally in the next few years, making the need to respond to the opportunity more urgent.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) currently has nine certifying bodies authorized to perform a Halal certification.

Businesses looking to export their products should consider Halal certification since the Muslim market outside the country is a rapidly rising sector.

“We have now this new Halal export promotion board… so many of our exporters can certify their products. If it is certified Halal it has a better opportunity to enter the Muslim market,” Mr. Lopez said.

PTTC-GMEA is offering free training programs on the Halal certification process and Halal global opportunities as part of MSME Week. These two seminars are scheduled for July 12 and are open for online registration through

PTTC-GMEA is also set to provide Halal Hospitality training in August and September. This is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CresecentRating, the leading authority in Halal-friendly travel and tourism, which was signed also on Monday. The training will be in preparation for the reception of participants for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in November.

“We’re targeting participants in airports from Clark and the receptionists in the hotels and even the transportation and the food sector. These are the first contact points of the Halal-conscious travelers who will be visiting the Philippines,” PTTC-GMEA Deputy Executive Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera during the same event on Monday. — Gillian M. Cortez