Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TDAP deprives Pakistan from World Expo participation

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

At this juncture when the nation has been deprived of its representation in world’s most important and biggest trade event, the World Expo Milan 2015, Sartaj Aziz, the Advisor on Foreign Affairs has asked the UAE government to acquire its expertise in organizing the next similar event to be held in UAE in 2020.

The World Expo is considered as biggest trade event in the world and it held after every five years to the country declared successful in the bidding. This event is almost six month long in duration.

The previous World Expo was held in Shanghai China in 2010 and Pakistan participated in that event with a great enthusiasm. The forthcoming event is being missed by the Pakistanis due to incompetency and ineptness of the high ups in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).   

The World Expo that commences from May 1, to continue till October 31, 2015 in Milan, Italy would be participated by as many as 144 United Nations member countries. In the previous World Expo Shanghai, Pakistan had participated in a big way as the organizers had built a concrete replica of Shahi Qilla, Lahore.

The Pakistan pavilion was highly admired by the many international dignitaries and celebrities including many countries’ head of states and ministers.  The Pakistan pavilion was organized by a private organizer at a cost of   $2.8 million.

However,this time the newly appointed Secretary TDAP, Rabiya Javeri Agha, instead of inviting bidding for the event, had asked for a huge amount of nine million euro ($12 million) from the government and the request was denied.

As the deadline of the event was approaching near, the same organizer who had organized Expo Shanghai in just $2.8 million as against the bids of $12 and $16 million by the other organizers had tried to rescue Pakistan and asked the TDAP to outsource the event.

He even offered to organize World Expo on his own expenses but the TDAP Secretary refused to do so and let the deadline expire by saying that the event is not that important.

Pakistan, desperately in need of boosting its trade abroad, is losing many such opportunities to the whims of incompetent and inexperienced officers to run the organization responsible for the export promotion.

The exporters said that how the Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz can offer expertise of those to UAE for organizing World Expo 2020, who are not even able to manage their own participation?   

Sharjah to become centre of $3 trillion Halal market

By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to be made center of World Halal Food (WHF) very soon, this was announced on the occasion of establishment of Gulf Halal Centre which was inaugurated by Chairman, Sharjah AWQAF, Sheikh Sagar bin Mohammad Al Qasmi, at Sharjah recently.

The setting up of WHF was a step in fulfilling the vision of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, to make UAE the center of world Halal Food trade. The opening of the cenrre coincided with Sharjah celebrating 2014 as the Islamic cultural capital of the world, and with Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjahs guidance and support to the Islamic world and great Islamic architecture that can be found and seen in all Sharjah government.

The ceremony was held at a local hotel in presence of  VIPs, senior government officials, diplomats, CIPs, business community and media, who witnessed the official launching of Gulf Halal Center (GHC), the pioneering Halal Certification body in the United Arab Emirates, offering  Halal Audit and certification services to Emirati companies, to help them convert to Halal Management System. Sheikh Sagar al Qasmi, declared it as part of the jubilation celebrating Sharjah as the Islamic Cultural Capital of the World 2014.

Chairman of Gulf Halal Center, Saif Mohammad Jasim al Midfa while talking to media said that the Halal market does not only include food products and ingredients but also food service establishments, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Personal care products, Animal & Poultry feed, Apparel & leather products, hospitality and tourism, banking, finance, Takaful and logistics, which will all be covered by the Gulf Halal Center.

Asad Sajjad, the CEO of Gulf Halal Center gave an eye opening presentation on how the Haram ingredients are used in our everyday use products and emphasized on the importance of Halal Certification as the demand of 1.7 billion Muslim consumers as well as a lot of non-Muslims, who prefer Halal food as its healthy and wholesome (Tayyab). 

Asad said that Halal Certified has emerged as an internationally recognized and established brand that is a big sales booster for the Emirati manufacturers and exporters to enter the 3 trillion dollar plus Global Halal market. Halal Certified removes the non-tariff barriers for many countries as Halal Certified products are able to enter countries with obligatory Halal requirements.

He said that GHC team consists of qualified professionals including Halal technical auditor, Shariah experts and food technologist, experienced in Halal Audit and certification work as per UAE Halal standards for food safety and Shariah, also compliant with OIC-SMIIC Halal standards that are accepted worldwide. 

The GHC also offers Marketing services for Halal Certified products as well as Halal Training and awareness services, for the company employees and management.