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GCC would hasten the import of agri-food products from the EU

An EU-GCC roundtable was held on harmonisation of the GCC Halal standards, which is crucial for European businesses. The meeting brought together experts and stakeholders of the halal food industry from GCC countries and EU member states. Government representatives were also present, upon Hungary's behalf Devecz Miklós, the director general of NAH.

The GCC Halal Scheme was first implement by the UAE in the beginning of 2015, the country developed an integrated mechanism for controlling Halal products by controlling all phases of the supply chain. The step required the establishment of an accreditation system for accrediting certification bodies. These in turn should certify all producers of halal food and its ingredients, cosmetics, and eventually leather and textile products – states introductory document of the meeting.

The importance of engaging in this dialogue is all the more important seeing that the standards will be adopted in the remaining GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.

Last year the value of EU agri-food exports to the GCC countries was 7.8 billion euros that represents 6.4% of total EU agri-food exports, thus making the GCC the third largest export destination for the EU. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Halal food imports into the GCC will reach $53.1 billion by 2020.

The main goal of the GCC countries is to becoming a true single market – emphasised one of the speakers of the roundtable.

After the roundtable Devecz Miklós had a private meeting with the leader of the Dubai Chamber, Mr. Saeed Y. Alnaj to discuss the possibilities of the Hungarian businesses.

Halal food fair