The first international halal industry exhibition in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sarajevo Halal Fair 2018 organized by Bosna Bank International (BBI), the Islamic Community in BiH and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has been successfully completed. SHF gathered more than 600 accredited representatives of companies from various industries in 43 countries. There have been over 90 booths, exhibitors from 13 countries, all being accompanied by 130 registered media representatives from BiH, the region and the world. Through the SHF, that had an educational character in addition to its economic and business nature, over 10.400 visitors passed during the three days of the Fair with the opportunity to join organised study groups.

Visitors from all over BiH had the opportunity to gather all information about the halal industry and a halal life style. The Fair comprised of panels with experts from the halal industry who discussed the importance, development and opportunities in the halal market. Also, during the SHF, companies had the opportunity to meet and network. The fair was attended by companies and business representatives from BiH, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia and Albania with large customers and distributors from the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain, Libya, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

In order to establish cooperation and promote common opportunities and interests of small businesses in BiH and Bahrain, a memorandum was signed on the SHF between the association “Buy and use domestic” and the “Society of Bosnia-Herzegovina-Bahrain Friendship and Business Cooperation”. With this Memorandum, the signatories agree to support small family businesses in BiH and Bahrain, empowering them to enter the foreign markets.

It is worth pointing out that during the Fair the BBI VIP Business Club organized a round table on the topic of business connection between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Malaysia, during which a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Sarajevo Halal Fair and MIHAS – “Malaysian International Halal Showcase” one of the biggest events of the halal industry in the world.

During the panel “Halal standardization and certification / accreditation” it has been concluded that there is a need for unification of halal standardization for the halal principles to be successfully implemented. Halal food is healthy food, and the halal certificate brings multiple benefits both, to consumers and producers, was the conclusion of the panel “Quality of Halal Food and Consumer Health”.

The Islamic Finance Sector remains and important factor too within the halal market – was the main conclusion during the panel „Islamic Finance Fuelling Future Growth in the Age of Disruption. The assets of Islamic banks are estimated at about two trillion dollars, which means Islamic finance is still low compared to the conventional financial market. Nevertheless, the adjustment of financial instruments to modern trends opens possibilities to achieve an even greater range of Islamic finance services – is the common opinion of all panel participants.

The SHF also opened its doors for the organisation of the “Info Days of the Halal Industry”, organized by the Association of the Halal Industry of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Federation of BiH. The exhibition was concluded with awards that were given to institutions and individuals who have contributed to the development of the halal industry and to exhibitors that have been selected by SHF visitors. .

The last day of the Sarajevo Halal Fair was marked by a special program at Hotel Hills where Edbiz organised with Bosna Bank International as host the “Global Islamic Finance Awards”. At the ceremony, the most prestigious awards in the field of leadership and Islamic finances were awarded to the most influential institutions and individuals from all over the world, including winners from BiH: Presidency Chairman Bakir Izetbegović, Grand Mufti Husein Kavazović, Dr. Šukrija Ramić and Amer Bukvić who received the award to Bosna Bank International on behalf of the bank.