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Indonesian Muslim Fashion Industry Ranked Third Worldwide



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The Indonesian Muslim fashion industry was ranked third globally, thereby indicating that the country’s halal industry was developing well and contributing positively to the national economy, according to the Industry Ministry. The data was quoted from the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report for the 2020-2021 year.

“In the halal pharmaceutical and cosmetics sector, our standing has increased by 19 ranks, so we are currently ranked sixth in the world.

Meanwhile, in the modest Muslim fashion sector, Indonesia is currently ranked third in the world,” the secretary general of the Industry Ministry, Dody Widodo, noted in a written statement received here. In addition, Indonesia is currently ranked fourth in the halal food sector, an increase by eight ranks as compared to the previous rank.

Widodo noted that realization of the national halal industry’s investment was the highest in the world. During the 2018-2021 period, 80 transactions were recorded in the form of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital with regard to the halal industry.

“These transactions are spread across every sector, with most of it recorded in the halal food and Islamic finance sectors,” he pointed out.

Widodo emphasized that his administration was determined to work harder in developing the national halal industry, so that it could be globally competitive. “Thus, we need to accelerate matters to be able to immediately transform from a top consumer market to a top halal exporter,” he emphasized.

The ministry had stipulated some policies for development of the halal industry, such as providing halal certification, especially for the small and medium industry sector. Those measures were undertaken as a strategic effort to support development of the halal industry ecosystem in Indonesia.

They are also aimed at establishing the Halal Analysis Agency (LPH) and pushing for better capacity of human resources through facilitation of halal auditor training. “With experience, as a leading sector in the application of the Indonesian National Standard industry, the Industry Ministry can also contribute through the Halal Guarantee System in the future,” he added.

Moreover, the Industry Ministry has promoted the establishment of halal industrial areas as stipulated in Industry Minister’s Regulation Number 17 of 2020 on procedures for obtaining a certificate for the establishment of a halal industrial estate.

“The Industry Ministry issues a Certificate of the Halal Industrial Estate for the Halal Modern Valley that is managed by PT. Modern Industrial Estate in Serang, Banten; for the Halal Industrial Park Sidoarjo managed by PT. Makmur Berkah Amanda in Sidoarjo; and for the Bintan Inti Halal Hub managed by the PT. Bintan Inti Industrial Estate in Bintan, Riau Islands,” he elaborated.

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Halal Taiwan: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Emerging Market, Culture, and Opportunities




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Discover “Halal Taiwan: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Emerging Market, Culture, and Opportunities” — a deep dive into Taiwan’s dynamic embrace of the halal market amidst its rich cultural backdrop and innovative landscape. Taiwan shines as a model of inclusivity, particularly for the global Muslim community, blending its vibrant cities, breathtaking natural beauty, and cutting-edge technology with a growing halal ecosystem. This guide reveals Taiwan’s dedication to the halal lifestyle, warmly inviting Muslim travelers and entrepreneurs to experience the integration of Islamic principles within its economic and social framework.

With global demand for halal products on the rise, Taiwan is seizing the opportunity to connect cultures and fuel economic growth through its halal industry. Offering everything from halal-certified foods and beverages to Muslim-friendly tourism and beauty products, Taiwan is committed to accommodating the needs and respects of the Muslim community.

A strategic approach underpins Taiwan’s halal market development, featuring stringent halal certification, the promotion of halal tourism, and support for halal-centric businesses. These initiatives not only boost Taiwan’s profile as a prime destination for Muslim visitors but also establish it as a significant player on the international halal stage. Government and private sector collaborations aim to align Taiwan’s halal offerings with global standards, earning the trust of Muslim consumers and investors worldwide.

Taiwan’s venture into the halal market is a testament to its progressive outlook, harmonizing economic development with cultural empathy. This effort enriches Taiwan’s cultural fabric, fostering a greater appreciation for the Islamic way of life and inviting all to explore its diverse cultural heritage.

Join us in this comprehensive exploration of Halal Taiwan, where we’ll uncover the sector’s evolution, challenges, and prospects. This guide promises a thorough overview of Taiwan’s ambitious goal to become a leading halal hub in Asia and beyond, celebrating a journey of tradition, innovation, and cultural unity.

The Rise of Halal Certification in Taiwan

Taiwan’s journey into the halal market is underscored by its rigorous approach to halal certification, a crucial step in building trust and ensuring compliance with Islamic dietary laws. This section delves into the mechanics and significance of halal certification in Taiwan, highlighting how this process not only caters to the dietary needs of Muslims but also serves as a springboard for Taiwanese businesses into the global halal market.

Establishing Halal Certification Bodies

The cornerstone of Taiwan’s halal initiative is the establishment of reputable halal certification bodies, notably the Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association (THIDA) and the Chinese Muslim Association (CMA). These organizations are tasked with a critical mission: to oversee and ensure that products and services bearing the halal label strictly adhere to Islamic law. The certification process encompasses a thorough review of ingredients, production methods, and handling processes, ensuring that they meet stringent halal standards.

Impact on Local Businesses

For Taiwanese businesses, obtaining halal certification is not merely about accessing the Muslim market; it’s a testament to their commitment to quality, safety, and ethical standards. This certification opens doors to a rapidly growing global market, offering Taiwanese products and services a competitive edge in regions where halal compliance is not just preferred but mandatory. The process, while demanding, educates and prepares businesses to operate within a framework that respects Islamic dietary laws, thereby enhancing their appeal to Muslim consumers worldwide.

Boosting Taiwan’s Global Halal Presence

Halal certification is a key driver in boosting Taiwan’s presence in the global halal market. By adhering to international halal standards, Taiwanese products gain credibility and recognition, facilitating entry into markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and beyond. This not only contributes to Taiwan’s economic growth but also strengthens its reputation as a country that values and respects cultural and religious diversity.

Challenges and Opportunities

The path to halal certification in Taiwan, while promising, is fraught with challenges. One of the main hurdles is the need for widespread awareness and understanding of halal principles among non-Muslim stakeholders. There’s also the challenge of streamlining the certification process to make it more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without compromising on standards.

However, these challenges present opportunities for innovation and collaboration. For instance, leveraging technology to simplify and expedite the certification process can significantly reduce the barriers to entry for SMEs. Moreover, educational campaigns aimed at demystifying halal practices can foster a more inclusive environment, encouraging more businesses to embrace halal certification.

Halal-Friendly Tourism in Taiwan: Welcoming Muslim Travelers with Open Arms

Taiwan is rapidly transforming into a prime destination for Muslim travelers, thanks to its commitment to halal-friendly tourism. This vibrant island is not just about its breathtaking landscapes and technological marvels; it’s also about creating an inclusive environment that caters to the needs of Muslim visitors. This section explores the various facets of halal-friendly tourism in Taiwan, from tailored tour packages to accommodations and services designed with the Muslim traveler in mind.

Tailored Halal Tour Packages

Recognizing the unique needs of Muslim travelers, Taiwan has seen a surge in specialized tour packages that promise a seamless travel experience. These packages cover halal dining options, visits to mosques, and tours of Islamic cultural sites, ensuring that travelers can enjoy Taiwan’s beauty without compromising their religious practices. Travel agencies and tour operators are increasingly knowledgeable about the preferences of Muslim tourists, offering itineraries that highlight Taiwan’s natural wonders, cultural treasures, and technological advancements, all while adhering to halal standards.

Halal-Friendly Accommodations

Accommodation plays a crucial role in halal-friendly tourism, and Taiwan is stepping up by offering a range of hotels and lodgings that cater to the specific needs of Muslim guests. From halal-certified kitchens and dining options to prayer facilities within the premises, these accommodations ensure a comfortable and worry-free stay. Many hotels also provide Qurans, prayer mats, and information on the direction of Qibla in guest rooms, reflecting a thoughtful approach to hospitality.

Halal Dining Experiences

One of the highlights of visiting Taiwan is undoubtedly the food, and the island’s culinary scene is embracing halal certification with open arms. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, more and more establishments are offering halal-certified Taiwanese delicacies, allowing Muslim travelers to indulge in the island’s rich and diverse culinary offerings. Whether it’s savoring a bowl of halal beef noodle soup, enjoying traditional snacks, or exploring the flavors of Taiwanese fusion cuisine, the halal dining experience in Taiwan is both delightful and inclusive.

Prayer Facilities and Mosques

To support the spiritual needs of Muslim travelers, Taiwan is enhancing its infrastructure to include more prayer facilities and mosques. The Taipei Grand Mosque, the largest and most prominent mosque in Taiwan, serves as a spiritual hub for Muslims, while other cities are following suit by establishing mosques and prayer rooms. These facilities are not just places of worship but also cultural centers where travelers can learn about Islam in Taiwan and meet the local Muslim community.

Promoting Taiwan as a Halal-Friendly Destination

The Taiwanese government, in collaboration with the tourism industry, is actively promoting Taiwan as a halal-friendly destination. This includes participation in international travel fairs, partnerships with Muslim-majority countries, and digital marketing campaigns targeting the Muslim travel market. By highlighting Taiwan’s commitment to accommodating the needs of Muslim travelers, these efforts aim to position the island as a top choice for halal-conscious tourists.

Challenges and Future Directions

While Taiwan has made significant strides in halal-friendly tourism, challenges remain, such as ensuring consistent halal standards across services and increasing awareness among non-Muslim service providers. Future directions include expanding the range of halal-certified offerings, integrating halal-friendly services into more rural and remote areas, and fostering a deeper cultural exchange between Taiwanese locals and Muslim visitors.

Halal Dining Experiences in Taipei and Beyond: A Culinary Journey for Muslim Travelers

Taiwan’s commitment to embracing the global Muslim community extends into the culinary realm, making it a paradise for food-loving travelers seeking halal options. The island’s capital, Taipei, along with other regions, offers a plethora of halal dining experiences, ranging from street food to gourmet restaurants. This section explores the vibrant halal food scene in Taiwan, highlighting the diverse options that cater to Muslim travelers’ dietary needs without compromising on taste or authenticity.

Taipei: A Halal Culinary Capital

Taipei stands out as a hub for halal dining in Taiwan, with an array of restaurants serving halal-certified versions of Taiwanese favorites. The city’s halal food scene is a reflection of its multicultural fabric, offering everything from traditional beef noodle soup to exotic street snacks, all prepared in accordance with Islamic dietary laws. Halal certification ensures that the food not only meets religious standards but also embodies the island’s commitment to quality and hygiene.

Halal Dishes to Try in Taiwan

When in Taiwan, Muslim travelers can indulge in a variety of signature dishes that have been adapted to meet halal standards. Some must-try items include:

  • Halal Beef Noodle Soup: Often considered Taiwan’s national dish, this halal version uses beef prepared according to Islamic law, simmered in a rich, flavorful broth with hand-pulled noodles.
  • Bubble Tea: A Taiwanese invention, many bubble tea shops now offer halal-certified milk tea options, ensuring that the ingredients used, including the milk and sweeteners, are halal.
  • Stinky Tofu: For the adventurous eater, halal-certified stinky tofu provides a unique taste of Taiwanese street food culture.
  • Dumplings and Steamed Buns: Available in various halal-certified fillings, these snacks are perfect for on-the-go eating while exploring Taiwan’s bustling markets and streets.

Halal-Certified Restaurants and Eateries

The increasing number of halal-certified restaurants in Taiwan is a testament to the island’s dedication to inclusivity. From small eateries to larger dining establishments, the focus on providing halal options has grown significantly. Restaurants often display their halal certification prominently, giving Muslim diners peace of mind. Additionally, many of these establishments offer vegetarian and vegan options, catering to a broad range of dietary preferences.

Beyond Taipei: Halal Dining Across Taiwan

While Taipei is a focal point for halal dining, other regions of Taiwan are also embracing the trend. Cities such as Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Hualien are expanding their halal food offerings, with local governments and tourism boards actively promoting halal-friendly dining spots. This expansion not only caters to Muslim residents and visitors but also promotes culinary diversity and intercultural understanding across Taiwan.

Challenges and Opportunities

Ensuring the availability of halal dining options across Taiwan poses challenges, particularly in less urbanized areas where awareness of halal requirements may be limited. However, these challenges present opportunities for growth and education. Increasing halal culinary training for chefs, expanding the network of halal-certified suppliers, and promoting halal dining options through tourism campaigns can further enhance Taiwan’s appeal as a destination for Muslim travelers.

Shopping for Halal Products in Taiwan: Navigating the Market with Ease

Taiwan’s journey towards becoming a halal-friendly destination is not limited to dining and tourism alone; it extends into the realm of retail, offering Muslim visitors and residents alike the convenience of accessing halal products across the island. From halal-certified groceries to personal care items and cosmetics, Taiwan’s markets are increasingly catering to the needs of the Muslim community. This section explores the halal shopping landscape in Taiwan, providing insights into where and how to find halal-certified products, making the shopping experience both enjoyable and compliant with Islamic principles.

Halal Supermarkets and Grocery Stores

In response to the growing demand for halal products, several supermarkets and grocery stores in Taiwan have begun to offer halal-certified food items. These range from meat and poultry, processed according to Islamic law, to a wide array of halal snacks, cooking ingredients, and ready-to-eat meals. These stores often have dedicated sections for halal products, clearly marked to make shopping easier for Muslim consumers. Additionally, some specialty stores focus exclusively on halal goods, providing a one-stop-shop for all dietary needs.

Halal Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

The halal market in Taiwan also encompasses cosmetics and personal care items, catering to Muslims who seek products that are not only free from prohibited substances but also manufactured according to ethical and hygienic practices. Halal-certified cosmetics and skincare products are gaining popularity, with several Taiwanese brands obtaining certification to serve both domestic and international markets. These products are available in various outlets, from department stores to online platforms, ensuring accessibility to all.

Online Shopping for Halal Products

The rise of e-commerce has significantly facilitated the availability of halal products in Taiwan. Online marketplaces and specialty halal shops offer a broad range of goods, from groceries and health supplements to beauty products, all certified halal. This convenience allows Muslim consumers to easily access halal products from anywhere in Taiwan, with the added benefit of home delivery. Online platforms also provide detailed product information and certification details, ensuring transparency and trust in the halal shopping process.

Challenges and Opportunities in Halal Retail

While the availability of halal products in Taiwan is growing, challenges remain in ensuring widespread accessibility and awareness. Not all regions of Taiwan have easy access to physical stores offering halal products, and there is an ongoing need for education among retailers and consumers about halal requirements. However, these challenges present opportunities for growth and development. Expanding the distribution network of halal products, increasing collaboration between Taiwanese companies and international halal suppliers, and leveraging digital platforms for education and marketing can further enhance the halal retail landscape in Taiwan.

Halal Infrastructure: Mosques and Prayer Facilities in Taiwan

As Taiwan progresses towards becoming a more inclusive destination for Muslim visitors and residents, the development of halal infrastructure, particularly mosques and prayer facilities, plays a pivotal role. This enhancement not only caters to the spiritual needs of the Muslim community but also signifies Taiwan’s respect and acknowledgment of cultural and religious diversity. This section delves into the existing Islamic infrastructure in Taiwan, spotlighting mosques and prayer spaces that have become centers for worship and community gathering.

The Taipei Grand Mosque: A Symbol of Islamic Heritage in Taiwan

The Taipei Grand Mosque, the oldest and most prominent mosque in Taiwan, stands as a beacon of Islamic faith and culture on the island. Established in the 1960s, it not only serves as a place of worship for thousands of Muslims but also as a cultural center for the Islamic community in Taipei and beyond. The mosque’s architecture, featuring traditional Islamic designs, is a testament to Taiwan’s multicultural tapestry and its embrace of diverse religious practices. The Taipei Grand Mosque hosts regular prayers, including the Friday Jumu’ah, Eid celebrations, and educational programs, fostering a sense of community and belonging among Muslims in Taiwan.

Expanding the Network of Mosques and Prayer Facilities

Beyond the Taipei Grand Mosque, Taiwan is home to several other mosques, each serving as a community hub for Muslims in different parts of the island. Cities such as Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung have established mosques that cater to the local Muslim population and visiting travelers, ensuring that the spiritual needs of the community are met, regardless of location. These mosques often offer additional services, including Islamic classes, cultural exchange programs, and social gatherings, enriching the Muslim experience in Taiwan.

Prayer Facilities Beyond Mosques

Recognizing the importance of providing prayer facilities to accommodate the needs of Muslim travelers, Taiwan has introduced prayer rooms in various public spaces, including airports, train stations, and shopping centers. These prayer rooms offer a quiet and clean space for Muslims to perform their prayers, equipped with ablution facilities and prayer mats. The availability of these facilities at key transport hubs and leisure destinations underscores Taiwan’s commitment to offering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all visitors.

The Role of Mosques and Prayer Facilities in Promoting Cultural Exchange

Mosques and prayer facilities in Taiwan are not just spiritual centers for Muslims; they also serve as venues for cultural exchange and understanding. Through organized tours, interfaith dialogues, and open house events, mosques in Taiwan invite people of all backgrounds to learn about Islam and the Muslim way of life. These initiatives help break down cultural barriers and promote a deeper understanding and respect among Taiwan’s diverse population.

Challenges and Opportunities for Future Development

While Taiwan has made significant strides in developing its Islamic infrastructure, challenges remain in ensuring these facilities meet the growing needs of the Muslim community. Expanding the network of mosques and prayer facilities, particularly in less urbanized areas, and enhancing the quality of existing facilities are areas for future development. There is also an opportunity to leverage technology, such as mobile apps and online platforms, to provide information on mosque locations, prayer times, and available services, further facilitating the religious practices of Muslims in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Halal Ecosystem: Beyond Food

Taiwan’s commitment to accommodating the needs of the Muslim community extends well beyond halal food and dining experiences. The island is developing a comprehensive halal ecosystem that encompasses a wide range of products and services, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and lifestyle products, all adhering to halal standards. This holistic approach not only caters to the dietary needs but also to the overall lifestyle of Muslims, ensuring that they can live in accordance with their faith while in Taiwan. This section explores the diverse aspects of Taiwan’s halal ecosystem, highlighting the breadth and depth of offerings that go beyond food.

Halal-Certified Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

In recent years, Taiwan has seen a significant rise in the availability of halal-certified cosmetics and personal care products. Recognizing the importance of purity and ethical manufacturing in Islam, several Taiwanese beauty brands have obtained halal certification, ensuring their products are free from haram (forbidden) substances and are produced under strict hygiene conditions. This move not only opens up new markets for Taiwanese products but also caters to the growing demand for ethical and religiously compliant beauty products among Muslims worldwide.

Pharmaceuticals and Health Products

The healthcare sector in Taiwan is also embracing halal certification, with an increasing number of pharmaceutical products being developed according to halal guidelines. This includes everything from over-the-counter medications to health supplements, ensuring that Muslim consumers can maintain their health without compromising their religious beliefs. The availability of halal-certified medicines and health products is particularly important for Muslim residents and visitors, providing peace of mind regarding the compliance of these products with Islamic law.

Lifestyle and Services

Taiwan’s halal ecosystem also extends to various lifestyle products and services, including fashion, household items, and financial services, all designed to meet the needs of the Muslim community. Halal fashion, for instance, offers clothing that is both modest and in line with contemporary styles, catering to the fashion-conscious Muslim consumer. Additionally, Taiwan is exploring the introduction of Islamic banking and finance services, aiming to provide financial products that comply with Islamic principles of trade and investment.

The Role of the Taiwan Halal Center

Central to the development of Taiwan’s halal ecosystem is the Taiwan Halal Center, established to promote halal certification and facilitate the growth of halal-compliant businesses in Taiwan. The center serves as a resource for companies looking to obtain halal certification, offering guidance and support throughout the certification process. Additionally, the Taiwan Halal Center plays a crucial role in marketing Taiwanese halal products both domestically and internationally, helping to expand the global reach of Taiwan’s halal industry.

Challenges and Future Directions

Expanding Taiwan’s halal ecosystem beyond food presents both challenges and opportunities. Raising awareness among Taiwanese businesses about the potential of the halal market and the importance of halal certification is a key challenge. However, this also presents an opportunity to educate and encourage more businesses to embrace halal standards, thereby expanding the range of halal-compliant products and services available in Taiwan. As Taiwan continues to build its halal ecosystem, the focus will be on innovation, quality, and adherence to Islamic principles, ensuring that Taiwan remains a welcoming and inclusive destination for Muslims.

Engagement with the Global Halal Market: Taiwan’s Strategic Outreach

Taiwan’s proactive engagement with the global halal market signifies a strategic and forward-thinking approach to integrating itself into the wider Islamic economy. Recognizing the vast potential of the halal industry, Taiwan has embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at promoting its halal-certified products and services on the international stage. This section delves into Taiwan’s efforts to connect with the global halal market, highlighting the importance of international expos, trade shows, and partnerships in positioning Taiwan as a key player in the halal industry.

Participation in International Halal Expos and Trade Shows

One of the key strategies adopted by Taiwan to showcase its halal offerings is participation in international halal expos and trade shows. Events such as the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), the World Halal Summit, and the Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai serve as pivotal platforms for Taiwanese companies to present their halal-certified products to a global audience. These expos not only provide opportunities for Taiwanese businesses to network with international buyers and investors but also to stay abreast of the latest trends and demands in the halal market.

Building Partnerships with Muslim-Majority Countries

Taiwan has been actively seeking to build and strengthen partnerships with Muslim-majority countries, aiming to foster trade relations and cultural exchange. Through bilateral agreements, Taiwan aims to enhance its export of halal-certified products, ranging from food and beverages to technology and healthcare products. These partnerships are instrumental in opening new avenues for Taiwanese businesses in the halal market and in learning from the experiences of countries with established halal ecosystems.

Marketing and Promotional Strategies

To effectively engage with the global halal market, Taiwan employs a range of marketing and promotional strategies. This includes digital marketing campaigns targeting Muslim consumers, participation in online halal marketplaces, and leveraging social media to highlight Taiwan’s halal-friendly tourism and lifestyle. By showcasing the diversity and quality of its halal offerings, Taiwan aims to attract not only Muslim consumers but also those interested in ethical and health-conscious products.

Challenges and Opportunities for Global Engagement

Engaging with the global halal market presents a unique set of challenges for Taiwan, including navigating the complex landscape of halal certification standards and competing with well-established halal producers. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and differentiation. By focusing on the unique aspects of its halal offerings, such as high-quality manufacturing standards and innovative products, Taiwan can carve out a niche in the global halal market.

The Role of Government and Industry Associations

The Taiwanese government, along with industry associations, plays a crucial role in supporting businesses in their engagement with the global halal market. Initiatives such as providing financial assistance for halal certification, organizing trade missions, and offering training programs on halal compliance are vital in equipping Taiwanese businesses for success in the global arena. Furthermore, the government’s efforts to streamline halal certification processes and promote Taiwan as a halal-friendly destination contribute to the island’s growing reputation in the international halal market.

What’s Missing? Expanding the Halal Narrative in Taiwan

While Taiwan has made impressive strides in developing its halal market and infrastructure, there remain areas for growth and improvement to fully harness the potential of this burgeoning sector. Identifying and addressing these gaps can propel Taiwan further into the forefront of the global halal market, ensuring that it not only meets but exceeds the needs and expectations of Muslim consumers and travelers. This section explores the existing gaps in Taiwan’s halal narrative and suggests avenues for expansion to solidify its position as a comprehensive halal-friendly destination.

Enhancing Halal-Friendly Recreational Activities

One area ripe for development is the provision of halal-friendly recreational activities. While Taiwan offers a plethora of attractions and experiences, tailoring more of these offerings to be inclusive of Muslim preferences can significantly enhance their appeal. This includes ensuring that leisure activities, such as theme parks, resorts, and cultural tours, cater to halal dietary needs, offer prayer facilities, and respect Islamic dress codes and values. Expanding the range of halal-friendly recreational options would not only enrich the travel experience for Muslim visitors but also position Taiwan as a versatile and considerate destination.

Addressing the Need for Halal Accommodation Standards

While several hotels and accommodations in Taiwan have made efforts to cater to Muslim guests, a standardized approach to halal hospitality could further elevate the experience. This includes training for staff on Muslim cultural sensitivities, ensuring halal food options are readily available, and providing prayer mats and Qurans in guest rooms. Establishing a recognized certification or rating system for halal-friendly accommodations could help travelers easily identify and choose lodging that meets their needs.

Expanding Halal Education and Awareness

Another crucial area for development is education and awareness of halal principles among the broader Taiwanese population, including businesses and service providers. While there is growing recognition of the importance of the halal market, comprehensive educational initiatives could further bridge cultural gaps. Workshops, seminars, and marketing campaigns that highlight the value and ethics behind halal practices can foster a more inclusive and understanding environment, encouraging more businesses to explore halal certification.

Integrating Halal Finance and Investment Opportunities

The halal industry extends beyond food and tourism into areas such as finance and investment, sectors in which Taiwan has yet to fully delve. Introducing Islamic banking and financial services that comply with Sharia law, such as interest-free loans and ethical investment funds, could attract Muslim investors and entrepreneurs. Developing this aspect of the halal market can not only drive economic growth but also showcase Taiwan’s commitment to accommodating diverse financial practices and beliefs.

Leveraging Technology to Enhance the Halal Experience

Technology plays a pivotal role in modern commerce and lifestyle, and Taiwan, with its strong tech industry, is well-positioned to leverage this in enhancing the halal experience. This could include developing apps that provide information on halal eateries, prayer times, and mosque locations, as well as online platforms for halal product shopping. Technology can also be used to streamline the halal certification process, making it more accessible to businesses across Taiwan.

Travel Tips for Muslim Visitors

Taiwan’s allure as a destination for Muslim visitors is undeniable, with its rich cultural tapestry, stunning landscapes, and burgeoning halal market. However, navigating a new country can always present challenges, especially when trying to adhere to halal practices. To ensure a fulfilling and stress-free experience, Muslim travelers to Taiwan can benefit from a collection of practical travel tips. This section provides essential advice, from leveraging technology to understanding local customs, aimed at enhancing the travel experience for Muslim visitors in Taiwan.

Utilizing Halal Travel Apps

In today’s digital age, smartphones can be a traveler’s best companion. Several apps are specifically designed to assist Muslim travelers by locating halal restaurants, nearest mosques, and prayer times. Before traveling to Taiwan, downloading such apps can provide peace of mind and ease the journey. These tools can help navigate Taiwan’s halal landscape, ensuring that dietary and prayer needs are conveniently met.

Research and Planning Ahead

A key to any successful travel experience, especially for halal-conscious travelers, is research and planning. Before arriving in Taiwan, visitors should compile a list of halal-certified restaurants, mosques, and prayer facilities across the island. Additionally, identifying accommodations that offer halal services or are near halal eateries can save time and hassle. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau and various halal travel guides offer valuable resources and information tailored to Muslim travelers.

Communication is Key

While Taiwan is known for its hospitality, there may be language barriers or a lack of awareness regarding halal requirements. Learning a few phrases in Mandarin or carrying a phrasebook can be incredibly helpful. Additionally, explaining halal dietary restrictions to hotel staff or restaurant servers can go a long way in ensuring meals meet halal standards. Many establishments are willing to accommodate special requests, even if they are not halal-certified.

Cultural Sensitivity and Respect

Understanding and respecting local customs and traditions enhance the travel experience and foster mutual respect. While Taiwan is a progressive society, dressing modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and being mindful of local etiquette can contribute to a positive interaction between Muslim visitors and Taiwanese locals. This mutual respect opens doors to deeper cultural exchange and enriching experiences.

Carrying Travel Prayer Mats and Compass

For ease during prayer times, carrying a lightweight travel prayer mat and a compass (or a smartphone app that indicates the Qibla direction) can be very practical. This allows for flexibility and peace of mind, knowing that the requirements for Salah can be met, whether in the tranquility of a park, a designated prayer room, or the privacy of a hotel room.

Staying Flexible and Open-Minded

Travel inevitably comes with its share of surprises and adjustments. Staying flexible and open-minded, especially when it comes to finding halal food options or prayer facilities, can significantly enhance the travel experience. Exploring local markets, trying vegetarian or seafood options in non-halal establishments, and embracing the diversity of Taiwan’s culture can lead to unforgettable memories and experiences.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Halal Taiwan

As Taiwan continues to carve its niche within the global halal market, it stands at the cusp of a transformative journey, one that transcends mere economic gain to embrace cultural enrichment and mutual respect. The strides made in developing a comprehensive halal ecosystem — from food and tourism to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and beyond — are testament to Taiwan’s commitment to inclusivity and its vision for a future where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated. This concluding section reflects on the significance of Taiwan’s halal initiatives and looks forward to the potential impacts and opportunities that lie ahead.

Taiwan’s Halal Journey: A Model of Inclusivity

Taiwan’s efforts to establish itself as a halal-friendly destination have set a precedent for how societies can adapt to cater to the needs of diverse populations. By integrating halal principles into various sectors, Taiwan is not merely accommodating a religious requirement but is fostering a culture of understanding and acceptance. This approach enhances Taiwan’s global image, showcasing its ability to balance traditional values with modern inclusivity.

Economic Opportunities and Beyond

The expansion of the halal market in Taiwan presents significant economic opportunities, opening doors to Muslim-majority markets across the globe. However, the benefits extend beyond the financial. The halal initiative encourages cross-cultural exchanges, enriching Taiwan’s social fabric and promoting global connections. As Taiwan continues to engage with the international halal market, it paves the way for collaborative ventures, cultural exchanges, and shared innovations that benefit both Taiwan and its global partners.

Challenges as Stepping Stones

While the journey towards becoming a leading halal hub comes with its challenges — from ensuring consistent halal standards to raising awareness among the non-Muslim population — these obstacles serve as stepping stones for growth and improvement. Addressing these challenges head-on, with a focus on education, innovation, and collaboration, will not only strengthen Taiwan’s halal ecosystem but also enhance its resilience and adaptability in a rapidly changing global landscape.

Looking Forward: The Future of Halal Taiwan

The future of Halal Taiwan is bright, marked by potential and promise. Continued investment in halal infrastructure, coupled with efforts to broaden the understanding and acceptance of halal principles, will further solidify Taiwan’s position on the global stage. As Taiwan refines its approach to halal certification, expands its halal product offerings, and enhances its tourism experiences, it will attract a wider audience of Muslim and non-Muslim visitors and consumers alike.

Moreover, embracing technology and innovation can elevate Taiwan’s halal ecosystem to new heights, offering seamless experiences for residents and visitors and setting new standards for the global halal industry. The potential for growth in halal finance, e-commerce, and digital platforms represents untapped avenues that can propel Taiwan forward.

A Call to Action

As Taiwan embarks on the next phase of its halal journey, the collective effort of the government, businesses, and the community will be paramount. It’s a call to action for all stakeholders to contribute to a shared vision of a halal-friendly Taiwan that is welcoming, inclusive, and prosperous. By continuing to embrace diversity, innovate, and foster mutual respect, Taiwan can achieve its aspiration to become not just a participant in the global halal market but a leader, setting benchmarks for excellence, inclusivity, and cultural harmony.

Halal Taiwan is more than a market strategy; it’s a reflection of Taiwan’s progressive spirit and its commitment to embracing and celebrating diversity. As Taiwan continues to navigate the complexities and opportunities of the halal industry, its journey offers valuable insights into the power of cultural adaptability and the potential for economic and social enrichment in a globally connected world. With each step forward, Taiwan reaffirms its place as a vibrant, inclusive, and forward-thinking society, ready to welcome the world with open arms.

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Beyond Andalusia: Exploring Spain’s Islamic Heritage through Halal Tourism




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Spain’s evolving landscape of Muslim-friendly tourism is a testament to its rich Islamic history and its commitment to embracing diverse cultural needs. As we head into 2023, projections indicate a staggering 85 million international visitors to Spain, a 16.4% increase from the previous year, highlighting the country’s growing appeal as a global tourist destination. A significant portion of these tourists are from Muslim-majority countries, drawn to Spain’s Islamic heritage and the burgeoning availability of Halal services and tailored cultural experiences.

The Rise of Halal Tourism in Spain

Spain’s shift towards accommodating Muslim tourists is evident in the increasing number of Halal-certified establishments and services. The Spanish Halal Institute has reported a surge in businesses seeking Halal certification, a rise from 100 in 2010 to over 500 in recent years. This growth is not only a response to the rising Muslim visitor numbers but also a strategic move by Spanish businesses to tap into the lucrative Muslim market.

Muslim-friendly Services Across Spain

Beyond the traditionally popular Andalucía, other regions in Spain are adapting to the needs of Muslim tourists. Cities like Barcelona, Toledo, and Madrid now offer a range of Halal dining options, prayer facilities, and culturally sensitive services. For instance, the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, a Halal-certified hotel, offers amenities tailored to Muslim guests, including prayer mats and Halal food options. Similarly, the Costa del Sol Hotel in Torremolinos has trained its staff in Muslim culture and traditions, enhancing the experience for its Muslim clientele.

Cultural and Historical Tourism

Spain’s Islamic history, particularly the legacy of Al-Andalus, is a major draw for Muslim visitors. Educational initiatives like walking tours in Toledo, led by Aicha Fernández, and Madrid’s Muslim and Arab heritage tours, organized by Rafael Martínez, provide insights into Spain’s rich Islamic past. These tours are not just tourist attractions but educational experiences, offering deep dives into the historical and cultural significance of Spain’s Islamic era.

Economic Impact and Market Potential

The economic potential of Muslim-friendly tourism in Spain is immense. According to a report by the State of the Islamic Economy (2022), the global Muslim population, a significant portion of which belongs to the rising middle class, is increasingly travel-savvy and demands tailored services. This presents a lucrative opportunity for Spanish businesses in the tourism sector.

Government Initiatives and Recognition

The Spanish government’s role in promoting Muslim-friendly tourism is pivotal. Efforts like the creation of Halal tourism guides by municipalities like Málaga, which won recognition at the Halal In Travel Global Summit in Singapore, underscore the national commitment to positioning Spain as a Muslim-friendly destination.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the progress, challenges remain. Celia Rodríguez, a Spanish revert, notes the scarcity of Halal options in some regions and the need for better-informed services for Muslim tourists. This gap presents an opportunity for businesses to further tailor their offerings and improve communication with Muslim clients.

Global Context and Future Prospects

Globally, the trend towards Muslim-friendly tourism is gaining momentum, with countries like South Korea and Japan also emerging as popular destinations. Spain’s strategic approach to embracing and catering to the needs of Muslim tourists not only enhances its competitive edge in the global tourism market but also promotes cultural understanding and inclusivity.

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Exploring Malaysia’s Halal Food Market




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In Malaysia, the prioritisation of halal food is not seen as a burden but a fundamental aspect ingrained in our society as part of our cultural and majority religious practice that reflects a commitment to Islamic principles.

With the halal food lifestyle and demand for diverse and authentic dining experiences continuing to rise, the significance of obtaining a halal certification for restaurants cannot be overstated.

Navigating the halal restaurant market access is not only about meeting religious dietary requirements but also unlocking opportunities for wider market penetration, especially in the lucrative domain of export markets.

According to Halal Development Bhd (HDC) CEO Hairol Ariffein Sahari, engaging in halal food activities and values are fundamentally religious, they are not merely symbolic.

“This is because adopting halal values and perspectives is increasingly recognised by governmental organisations around the world, as well as by industry players and consumers.

“The rise in global tourism also has contributed to the demand for halal restaurants. Muslim travellers, in particular, seek dining options that adhere to their dietary requirements, creating opportunities for halal restaurants in popular tourist destinations,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Food businesses that embrace halal certification are winning in the export market as it provides them with global market access catering to the growing number of Muslim consumers worldwide.

The certification also will increase consumer confidence in the quality and authenticity of the food and products.

In addition, the halal certification adds to their competitive advantages as it allows Malaysian businesses to differentiate their products and services from competitors while making it easier for Malaysian food and beverage (F&B) businesses to navigate international trade agreements and regulations.

“Halal certification also enhances the credibility of F&B entrepreneurs and their products. It serves as a third-party verification of compliance with Islamic standards, building trust among consumers, retailers and business partners,” Hairol said in an interview with TMR.

Market Value

It is noted that the global Muslim population is growing, creating a larger consumer base for halal products. Estimates indicate that in 2030, global Muslim expenditure on the halal sector is projected to be worth US$3.5 trillion (RM16.34 trillion).

For the year 2022, Malaysia’s halal export for F&B was RM27.84 billion, an increase of 57.8% from 2021. This increase was due to the economic rebound and the overall trade improvement post-Covid-19.

Additionally, according to HDC, the global halal food market is quite promising as the market is forecasted to reach US$2.17 trillion by 2030.

Malaysia has very well-established halal standards that counter all sectors of food industries and the nation’s halal certification is recognised by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) which is accepted globally, trusted and reliable.

Malaysia’s halal regulation also cannot be simply regulated by any organisation including the provider of halal training.

SIRIM Bhd is one of the technical committees in developing halal standards such as MS 1500, MS 2400, MS 2934, MS 2424, MS 2610, and MS 1900, and businesses may seek training, halal consultancy and explore deeper understanding and significance of having their business halal certified through those bodies.

In overseeing the halal training and consultancy, SIRIM halal department senior consultant Lizawati Mohamad Darwi said the demand for halal food is currently expanding worldwide, and in Malaysia, this is seen as a prerequisite for developing a business system and a foundation of the other system.

According to her, halal certification can streamline other restaurant business processes as it indirectly complements food safety standards such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and ISO which are required for food safety and security.

Not only that, given that the concept of halal emphasises not only halal sources but also in terms of hygiene in food production, most companies choose to integrate halal standards with other food standards that emphasise food safety and hygiene.

“For SIRIM, we can see the demand among food industries is increasing by the demand for training and consultancy service we received,” she said.

The increased demand is also due to the acceptance of Muslims only for halal-certified products to prevent “shubhah” or doubt resulting in them purchasing food with a clear halal logo on the label.

“Not only that, non-Muslims started to accept halal (status) due to the belief that halal also provides health benefits by consumption of good sources of food and well-ethical animal slaughtering or practices,” she said.

Product and Business Expansion Opportunity

Halal certification is important to build trust and confidence among consumers, leading to increased sales and brand loyalty. It is also a prerequisite for accessing Muslim-majority markets, which is impartial for exports.

Muslim-majority markets constitute a substantial portion of the global population and halal certification is a good starting point to enter the market, enabling more opportunity to expand product and business potentials.

The impact of gaining halal market access is also significant on the overall halal supply chain and ecosystem which assures that halal products are preserved from contamination hence influencing various stakeholders.

On top of that, the strategies to streamline the certification process benefit not only individual businesses but contribute to the overall efficiency and growth of the halal industry and are important to maintain the integrity of halal until it reaches consumers.

Global Halal Market Challenges

While halal certification plays a crucial role in expanding international market access, food businesses face challenges to meet the global halal standards especially due to the diverse certification standards across countries.

Different countries and regions may have their halal certification standards, including labelling, alcohol, emulsifiers and other food contents which lead to a lack of uniformity and difficulties to enter the export market.

“Businesses face the challenge of navigating and adhering to diverse requirements, making it complex and time-consuming to obtain certifications for multiple markets,” Hairol said.

Due to this, he added that the Malaysian government is currently promoting the principle of halal diplomacy to promote and ease the integration of international halal certification acceptance.

Additionally, the challenge is also in ensuring the entire supply chain complies with halal standards, especially for businesses operating in multiple regions.

“Maintaining consistency from raw material sourcing to production and distribution is crucial for obtaining and retaining halal certification,” he said.

Meeting halal standards also often requires thorough documentation and traceability throughout the production process. Maintaining accurate records can be a challenge and businesses must implement robust systems to track the source and handling of ingredients.

Apart from that, obtaining and maintaining halal certification can involve significant costs, including fees for inspections, audits and ongoing compliance. Whereas for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the financial burden may be a barrier to entry into certain markets.

“To declare the product is halal, raw materials need to come from halal sources. Certain materials especially imported materials are more difficult to get the halal assurance,” Lizawati added.

Apart from raw materials, manpower issues and resources as well as the business process also pose challenges in maintaining the halal status for those who have obtained it, especially for the smaller food businesses.

Based on the regulations, the company is required to have at least two local Muslim workers in the production and operation. The high turnover among local workers often causes difficulties in complying with the requirements.

“To maintain minimum local workers sometimes is quite difficult, especially for small businesses. They tend to like switching jobs for better options. In that sense, it’s difficult for the company to maintain the local Muslim workers.

“Another challenge will be the auditing by Jakim where the department will conduct spot checks on the business to ensure they can maintain two Muslim workers in the production. Otherwise, it will affect their certifications,” Lizawati added.

Nonetheless, she said businesses need to be aware of the challenges, and requirements, and seek advice from relevant bodies to increase awareness to develop their product to ensure success and eventually contribute to expanding the halal market.

Navigating Halal Principles

GIVEN the growth of the Muslim consumer market, it is of utmost importance for restaurant owners who wish to cater to the Muslim segment to possess a comprehensive understanding.

Here’s how Malaysia’s restaurant and food and beverage (F&B) operators navigate the halal principle in attracting customers.

Mercure Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie GM Fariz Victor said there are no real challenges in coming up with a halal menu as the principle is to have all halal-compliant ingredients and products.

“Our traditional halal cuisine has been elevated by using only all halal-compliant ingredients and products which are then transformed into Western and/or international dishes infused with local and traditional elements.

“As we are not involved in the export market, the challenge in cooking the food for our guests is to ensure the ingredients are from halal sources and cooked in a clean and hygienic area,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

The restaurant also builds relationships with halal suppliers and undergoes a stringent process where its halal and hygiene executive will check and verify that all ingredients and products from vendors are halal certified before purchasing the product.

Meanwhile, DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur (KL) executive chef Gerald Chong said navigating the dining experience that caters to both halal and non-halal customers requires careful attention to diverse customers’ preferences and expectations.

Despite that, he said as a chef, it is increasingly important to push the boundaries of cuisine by exploring creative culinary techniques, incorporating diverse flavours and embracing global influences.

“Adhering to these principles in the business involves ensuring the entire food production process, from sourcing ingredients to the final product, complies with Islamic certification guidelines, certification of the product and process of handling as well,” he added.

Nonetheless, curating a menu or incorporating halal options into an existing restaurant while maintaining its specificity can present several challenges.

“Therefore, menu engineering needs to be straightforward without any speculation of ingredients or suspicious products.

“They also must be creative in adapting traditional recipes or creating new ones to cater to diverse tastes without diluting the uniqueness of the restaurant’s culinary identity,” Chong told TMR.

Overall, he said DoubleTree by Hilton KL maintains and builds relationships with reputable halal suppliers to cater to diverse guest needs with several specifications and quality enhancements from the chef.

“We have a halal committee who works alongside with our purchasing team to ensure we received the correct product specification, slaughterhouse number- ing and certification verification,” he concluded.

Adding further, KARLS Group’s Skillet KL co-owner and executive chef Raymond Tham said he believes everyone should able to come in to enjoy its foods, and businesses require a lot of halal menu research and development in providing halal options while maintaining their restaurant speciality.

“All our outlets are pork-free and use halal-sourced ingredients. We draw inspiration across Malaysia and some of the dishes are inspired by the classic dishes,” he told TMR.

“Most of the suppliers that we use have been around for many years. They also supply to international hotel chains in Malaysia. So, we are very sure they can guarantee the authenticity,” Tham added.

However, the group so far has no plan to obtain halal certification as many of their guests prefer to have alcoholic beverages to go with fine dining meals. Nonetheless, it might consider opening up a halal-certified outlet in the future.

To ensure compliance among staff in the halal food preparation and avoid cross-contamination, he said sufficient training is needed and the group takes responsibility to inform the guests if they ask.

“Most of our chefs graduated from culinary school. They already have the basics. All the guests who dine with us expect a good and memorable dining experience, from the friendly and welcoming service to the taste and presentation,” he concluded.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition

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