First international fair of halal industry, Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) 2018 was opened in presence of large number of participants and officials today in Sarajevo. SHF 2018 was opened by Amer Bukvić, the CEO of BBI, Israfil Kuralay, deputy of president of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Adem Zolj, Prime Minister of Canton Sarajevo, Mujahid Yusuf Rawa, minister in the office of Prime Minister of Malaysia, Denis Zvizdić, the Chairman of the council of ministers of BiH and Husein ef. Kavazović, reis-ulema of the Islamic Community of BiH.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad had addressed the participants of SHF 2018 over a video link, pointing out the pleasure of being one of the honorable founders of Sarajevo Business Forum and SHF 2018.

“ I hope that SHF will be maintained through upcoming years and become the largest and most prominent fair of halal industry in South East Europe. Malaysia is the leader in halal economy, the sector that keeps up with growing and development. Malaysian tourists are very interested in halal tourism in the region of South East Europe. Potential for growth and development of halal industry is enormous. SHF can become a platform for big investments in BiH and region, which can satisfy the global needs including the European market. I am sure that SHF will gain a reputation of a prominent halal fair and become a business platform for collaboration of local and international companies”, the Prime Minister Mahatir pointed out.

“The halal market in this very moment has around 1,6 billion consumers in the world, and till 2030., it is estimated that there will be 2,2 billion consumers of halal products, yet it is the fastest growing industry in the world. Halal industry exceeds political, cultural and national bounds and is becoming more popular every day. Multicultural societies of Asia, Europe and America have recognized the significance of halal industry and are investing in it. Halal market includes finances, tourism, travelling, ordering, health and education too. The education about the halal is very important, because in that way its significance is understood more clearly. Furthermore, that is how the master study of Islamic banking has been developing throughtout last 10 years” , said Bukvić.

According to his words, thanks to the efforts of BBI, SHF has been organised to encourage the development of halal market and to educate the public about its significance.

“ Our region can be “the golden door” for big companies on the halal market from the countries of GTC and South East Asia so that the production is organised and so that the European halal market is entered. Our common goal is to create productive environment and therefore enable a better position of the whole region” , pointed out Bukvić.

The deputy of the president of Chamber of Commerce of Istanbul, Israfil Kuralay, had pointed out that the significance of SHF 2018, both for the producers and the consumers of halal products and services.

“ Halal products are not only made for the muslim population, rather we have the example of Brasil who is one of the biggest importers and exporters of halal products. All the countries participating in SHF have an enorumous potential” , said Kuralay.

The cantonal Prime Minister Adem Zolj has welcomed the participants of SHF 2018 and pointed out the significance of such manifestations for the development of the economy of KS.

“ It is my honor that the Government of Canton Sarajevo is the partner of this project. Sarajevo is the best place for promotion of business and business meetings” , pointed out Zolj.

Mujahid Yusuf Rawa, minister in the office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, especially put an accent on the significance of halal market and the possibilities it offers on a global level.

“ Halal signifies not only what is permitted, but the pure, safe and hygienic. Halal has possibilities to reach bigger goals, and that is the green world. The complete system of halal industry is the reaction of constant change of the world, and what everyone tends for is the improvement of life and maintenance. Those are the goals of UN too, halal can contribute to reaching those goals, and Sarajevo can have a significant role in such process” , said Yusuf Rawa.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, Denis Zvizdić had pointed out that SHF 2018 gives a new dimension to Sarajevo and BiH as very perspective strategical connection of the economy of the region.

“ I see SHF 2018 as a great opportunity for new investments, because the market of halal products has big potential in the world, as much as in BiH. It is expected that the global market of halal food will have a significance larger than three billion dollars by the 2023. Therefore, I am glad that there are more than 85 companies in BiH to have the halal certificate, while there are more than 120 of them in the region, with more than 4.500 products and services. I hope that SHF 2018 will open the door to our producers to gain business contacts and turn them into new and big contracts” , pointed out Zvizdić.

The reis-ulema of the Islamic Community of BiH, Husein ef. Kazazović reminded the present in his speech about the significance of halal in BiH, which is not a trending feature, but a continuity, part of the tradition and lifestyle.

“ Halal standards, halal certificating and accreditating are the expression of the need to answer the challenges of the time, so that we are sure that the food we are eating is halal and healthy. The opening of halal world market is the interest of not only muslims in BiH, but all the citizens and companies of BiH, as well as the companies from the region” said reis Kazazović, pointing out that everyone who makes business with halal must have in mind that they need to access it in a way of maintaining its clarity and value of good in halal products and trading.

After the opening addresses, high officials opened the SHF 2018 with cutting the rope, after which they visited the stands of the fair.

SHF 2018 is organised by Bosna Bank International (BBI) in corporation with the Islamic Community of BiH and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) , and has gathered participants from more than 40 countries, and around 100 exhibitors from all over the world.

During the three-day-long Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) 2018., the meetings between regional producers of halal products and halal service providers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia and Albania and major accounts and distributers from European Union, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain, Libya, United Arab Emirates will be held.