Singapore has become the first country to accept the Maldives’ Halal certification, the Ministry of Islamic Affair has revealed.
Local media have reported the ministry’s announcement that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore has accepted the certification, currently used by three Maldivian fisheries firms.
“After the approval of the certificate by Singapore, the market is looking forward to an even bigger expansion,” Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed told Haveeru.
The move to award Halal certification followed the EU’s decision to refuse the extension of duty-free status to Maldivian fish imports late last year due to the Maldives’ failure to adhere to international standards regarding freedom of religion.
The EU represents the single largest export partner for the Maldives.
The government promptly formed a Fisheries Promotion Board in order to target new markets, with Felivaru Fisheries, Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), Horizon Fisheries all awarded Halal certificates in April.
Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs Dr Aishath Muneeza told Sun Online that the certification had been approved for three years by the Singapore authority, expressing confidence that the development would open up international markets.