SEOUL, Jan.28 (Korea Bizwire) – Data shows that imports of food and medication from 57 countries that are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have more than doubled over the past 10 years.
However, Korean exports to OIC countries are still negligible, raising the issue of halal assurance in the food and medication industry.
According to a data analysis conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, food imports from OIC countries jumped from 5.5 trillion won in 2005 to 13.2 trillion won in 2014.
Imports of medication over the same period increased from 11 trillion won to 22.6 trillion won, and imports of cosmetics increased from 2.9 trillion won to 6.9 trillion won.
However, Korean exports to OIC countries remained relatively insignificant.
The value of exported food was 900 billion won, which doesn’t even represent one percent of the total imports from OIC countries. Exports of medication and cosmetics only reached 500 billion won and 100 billion won respectively.
Authorities explain that the lack of halal assured ingredients has lead to limitations in exporting products to Muslim countries.
As a countermeasure, the ministry published a guide to halal assurance in five countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
The guide consists of information related to the halal standards of each country, documentation required to complete the process, and samples.
The ministry will also release data on exports and imports of food and medication for the 57 OIC members over the past 10 years (2005 to 2014). The information will be published on the ministry’s homepage (www.mfds.go.kr).
Authorities expect that the new guide and statistical data will be helpful to businesses preparing to export their goods to OIC nations.
By M.H.Lee (email@example.com)