Philippine Ambassador Christopherr B. Montero (1st row, 2nd from left) and Permanent Secretary for Industry of the Ministry of Finance and Economy Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Sani (3rd row, 2nd from right) together with the speakers and panelists of the Philippines-Brunei Trade and Investment Opportunities in Halal webinar.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 7 September 2020 – A webinar on trade and investment opportunities in Halal recently discussed areas in the halal value chain with the greatest potential for joint ventures between the Philippines and Brunei.
Organized by the Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, with the full support of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Singapore (PTIC-Singapore), the event featured presentations by four speakers from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone (ZAMBOECOZONE), Brunei Darussalam BIMP-EAGA Business Council (BDBEBC), and the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in Brunei.
In his opening remarks, Philippine Ambassador Christopher B. Montero stressed that forging stronger cooperation in the halal sector represents a significant pillar of trade, business and investment interaction between the Philippines and Brunei. He emphasized that “the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Halal Industry and Export Development and Promotion during the State Visit of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah to the Philippines in April 2017 is a manifestation of the importance of halal cooperation for both of our countries.”
“The robust connections on Halal that result from the implementation of the MOU do not only benefit the Philippines and Brunei. It also impacts profoundly on the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA, an area with huge promise yet hampered by the challenges posed by connectivity,” Ambassador Montero said.
Ambassador Montero highlighted the role of halal industry development in the promotion of peace and development in the BIMP-EAGA underline that “from a strategic standpoint, our intensified engagement in the halal sector would significantly impact on the economic development of our communities in southern Philippines, particularly the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). This is a critical component towards sustaining the gains of the peace process in Mindanao, for which the government of His Majesty has been a vital partner of the Philippines through its long and active participation in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and the International Decommissioning Body Board (IDB).”
Permanent Secretary for Industry of the Ministry of Finance and Economy Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina binti Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji encouraged both Brunei and the Philippines “to take advantage of the vast opportunities available in the global halal market, especially with the increasing demand for halal products and services.”
Citing the halal sector as being one of the global economic drivers, Pengiran Hajah Zety Sufina recognized the potential of bilateral cooperation to turn both countries into leaders of the global halal industry and become a joint halal hub.
Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines reported that progress on the implementation of the MOU on Halal Cooperation between the two countries is moving in the areas of mutual recognition of halal standards, science and technology, Islamic banking and finance, and Syariah-compliant governance.
Four speakers from the Philippines and Brunei served as resource persons during the webinar: Agriculture Undersecretary Zamzamin L. Ampatuan, Chairman Raul Regondola of ZAMBOECOZONE, Captain (Rtd) Zailan of BDBEBC, and Dr. Nur Thaqifah Salihah of UNISSA.
The webinar concluded with testimonials from Philippine exporters of halal goods who participated in the Brunei Halal Showcase in 2018. Ardy Haji Abdul Momin, the Bruneian owner of Bay 91 Café in Manila, also shared his experiences in operating a halal restaurant in the Philippines. END
Philippine Ambassador Christopher B. Montero delivers his opening statement at the Philippines-Brunei Trade and Investment Opportunities in Halal webinar organized by the Philippine Embassy and the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines