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'Halal products not just for Muslims, they are favourites for many people worldwide'

Mahmut Sami Sahin, President of the Turkish Standards Institute during the 8th World Halal Summit and 9th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Halal Expo at Istanbul Fair Center in Istanbul, Turkiye on November 24, 2022 [Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]
Mahmut Sami Sahin, President of the Turkish Standards Institute during the 8th World Halal Summit and 9th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Halal Expo at Istanbul Fair Center in Istanbul, Turkiye on November 24, 2022 [Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Thanks to its unparalleled standards in such areas as cleanliness and health, halal products are the favourites of people all over the world, not just Muslims, said a top official of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), Anadolu News Agency reports.

International interest in halal products grows greater each day, Mahmut Sami Sahin, SMIIC Vice President and also Head of the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), told Anadolu Agency during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Halal Expo and World Halal Summit, hosted in the Turkish metropolis, Istanbul.

Halal refers to products and services that conform to Islamic guidelines, but Sahin argued the term should no longer be considered as purely religious, as actually it is an area with a very large trade volume worldwide.

The global halal market, including Islamic finance, food, tourism, cosmetics, medical products and textiles, totals $7 trillion, according to World Halal Summit Council.

Touching on the current Expo and summit, he said there is high attendance from all around the world, thanks to the rising interest in halal products.

Muslims are sensitive about halal due to religious necessity, he said, adding: "People want to consume halal products, so they need to access halal products."

Within the framework of this need, the SMIIC was established in Turkiye in 2010 with 13 countries, as a significant step, he said.

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The standards were prepared within the framework of Islamic rules, he noted.

So far, approximately 50 standards were published by the SMIIC, and Turkiye adopted all of them, he stressed.

Ensuring uniformity in halal concepts among Islamic countries will make a great contribution to boosting trade, especially among Islamic countries, he said, adding that the umbrella group, SMIIC, is a good platform for this target.

He stressed that with 47 member States, SMIIC is a large inter-governmental institute, and one of the most important for Muslim-majority countries, adding: "The world is following SMIIC's standards very closely right now."

The Turkish Standards Institute aims to share its experience with other countries, especially Turkic republics and North African countries, he said.

"We have a mission to convey its experiences to countries within a three-hour flight distance, we're working on this," he explained.

He said the Institute hopes to remove hurdles to boosting trade ties between Turkiye and countries in its region.

The Institute services Turkiye and Islamic countries in a wide geography with its 27 laboratories, he added.

READ: World Halal Summit, OIC Halal Expo to begin in Istanbul on Thursday

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