ArmInfo. On March 10, an Iranian Halal office was launched in Yerevan to certify companies. The office will allow Armenian economic entities to export their products to 57 Islamic countries.
Armenian Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan said that the Ministry initiated the launch of the office in order to give an opportunity to the Armenian companies to receive Halal certificates, which facilitate the entry to the Muslim markets. He noted that Halal certification will also increase the inflow of tourists from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states. At the same time, Karayan pointed out the intention to open Halal offices in the provinces as well, first of all, in Syunik province, near the border with Iran.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia Emil Tarasyan said that Halal certification will concern not only the food industry but other sectors as well, in particular, the sector of services - hotels, restaurants, trade outlets, etc. "It is noteworthy that the launch of the Halal office took place on the threshold of the Muslim holiday of Novruz. We expect a great number of tourists to arrive in Armenia. The office will enable us to prepare the sector of services well enough to enhance the attractiveness of Armenia for the tourists from Muslim countries," the deputy minister said.
Tarasyan added that the Ministry intends to double the export of Armenian products to Iran. In this context, he spoke of the current talks with Iranian partners regarding creation of a joint Armenian-Iranian logistics center, which will facilitate collection of the necessary documentation for export activities.
Halal Office Director Abdul Hussein Fahari pointed out that the cooperation with Armenia was launched 2 years ago and 2 companies have already been certified (Voske Katsan and a company in Kapan) and they are already exporting their products. "The office has been launched in Armenia to satisfy the needs of Muslim tourists and to provide an opportunity to Armenian economic entities to expand the sales markets for their products," he said. Fahari noted that several Armenian enterprises have already applied for a certificate. At the same time, he pointed out that within the framework of this initiative, business seminars will be held for business entities. "I hope the opening of the Halal office will contribute to expansion of the trade relations between Armenia and the Muslim countries," he added.
To note, a discussion for the concerned economic entities will be held at the Armenian Ministry of Economic Development and Investments on March 13, at 11 am.
The Halal certificate is the only document providing an opportunity to export food to the countries of the Arab and Muslim world. The Halal industry in the CIS is only 10-15 years old.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in 2016 the foreign trade turnover between Armenia and Iran amounted to $238.8 mln (down 14.7% versus 2015), with exports dropping by 8.4% to $74.8 mln, and imports - by 17.3% to $164mln.