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| 06 August, 2017

Indian market offers more than a cosmetic opportunity for halal firms

Business owners manufacturing Shari'ah-compliant products are eyeing up the market in India, according to a UAE-based accreditation body.The International Halal Accreditation Forum states that India has one of the world's most viable halal markets, especially in the cosmetics sector. It said that of the $43 billion worth of cosmetics sold in India in 2015, about $4.2 billion of this involved

Muslim woman Khoda Kheir, 30, receives a Halal eyebrow treatment  at the Le'Jemalik Salon and Boutique ahead of the Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 21, 2017.  Picture taken on June 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar

Muslim woman Khoda Kheir, 30, receives a Halal eyebrow treatment at the Le'Jemalik Salon and Boutique ahead of the Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 21, 2017. Picture taken on June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar

REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar
06 August 2017

Business owners manufacturing Shariah-compliant products are eyeing up the market in India, according to a United Arab Emirates-based accreditation body.

The International Halal Accreditation Forum states that India has one of the world's most viable halal markets, especially in the cosmetics sector. It said that of the $43 billion worth of cosmetics sold in India in 2015, about $4.2 billion of this involved sales to the country's 170 million Muslims.

It also said that India is currently home to the second-largest Muslim population in the world, behind Indonesia, although forecasts made by the Pew Research Centre predict that India will have the biggest Muslim population in the world by 2050.

The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) signed a membership agreement with India earlier this year. The independent, non-government network of 19 accreditation agencies helps to set standards in 22 countries across six continents.

Mohammed Saleh Badri, secretary-general of International Halal Accreditation Forum, said: “India, being home to millions and millions of Muslims, is definitely a country that we look forward to working with as we strive to strengthen IHAF.

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"Driven by our mission to unify the global halal industry and break trade barriers, IHAF is ready to support India in bolstering its halal infrastructure.”

Halal-certified cosmetics were initially made to cater specifically to the Muslim community, but demand from non-Muslim consumers is increasing as well.

A study by Sydney-based AMust media, however, pointed out that there is currently "a lack of awareness" among India's Muslim communities that mainstream cosmetics may contain products that are considered haram.

"In addition, halal fraud scandals have rocked consumer confidence In this context, halal certification is vitally important to establishing trust with the Muslim consumer,” it said.

Badri said that its goal is to ensure people who want Shariah-complaint goods can buy them with confidence.

"One day, all they have to do is to look for one universal halal mark stamped on any product or service wherever they may be in the world,” he said.

The IHAF is the world’s first halal international accreditation network. It is also the first international accreditation entity to be based in the UAE. It is sponsored by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) and the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology.

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