เปิดม่านความคิด : อธิบดีกรมเศรษฐกิจระหว่างประเทศเป็นประธานกล่าวเปิดงานสัมมนา Exploring Halal Tourism จัดโดยสถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงมาดริด เปิดม่านความคิด : รวมบทความทางเศรษฐกิจที่น่าสนใจ

เปิดม่านความคิด : อธิบดีกรมเศรษฐกิจระหว่างประเทศเป็นประธานกล่าวเปิดงานสัมมนา Exploring Halal Tourism จัดโดยสถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงมาดริด

 

          เมื่อวันที่ 18 ธันวาคม 2561 นางวิลาวรรณ มังคละธนะกุล อธิบดีกรมเศรษฐกิจระหว่างประเทศ เป็นประธานในพิธีเปิดงานสัมมนาในหัวข้อ Exploring Halal Tourism ณ โรงแรม Al Meroz กรุงเทพฯ จัดโดยสถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงมาดริด โดยงานสัมมนาครั้งนี้ ได้เชิญผู้ทรงคุณวุฒิและผู้เชี่ยวชาญของสเปนเป็นวิทยากร ได้แก่ Dr. Barbara Ruiz-Bejarano ผู้อำวยการด้านความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างประเทศ และ Mr. Tomas Guerrero ผู้อำนวยการสถาบันฮาลาลสเปน เพื่อส่งเสริมขีดความสามารถให้ผู้ประกอบการด้านการท่องเที่ยวฮาลาลของไทย 

 

 

Opening Remarks by

Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs

Seminar on “Exploring Halal Tourism”

18 December 2018 at Al Meroz Hotel

 

Distinguished speakers and participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

          A very good morning to all and thank you so much for joining us this morning. It is for me a great pleasure to welcome you to this seminar focusing on “Halal Tourism” organized by the Royal Thai Embassy in Madrid and the Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

          I would also like to welcome and express my appreciation to Dr. Barbara Ruiz-Bejarano, Director of International Relation, and Mr. Tomas Guerrero, Managing Director of the Halal Institute of Spain, who indeed have been actively cooperating with Thailand in the field of halal in recent years.

          Since an establishment of a “Halal Mutual Recognition Agreement” between the Halal Institute of Spain and (1) the Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, (2) the Halal Institute of Thailand, and (3) the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand in 2015, several activities have been implemented by both sides to elevate the cooperation in this field. Only in this year, three activities have already been carried out, namely the participation of the Thai delegation to the Expo Halal- Alimentaria in Barcelona last April organized by Halal Institute of Spain, followed by the attendance of Thai delegation to the World Halal Summit in Istanbul in November organized by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in which the Thai delegation attended Dr. Barbara’s presentation on the topic of Halal Certification in non-OIC Countries, and in turn, the involvement of the Institute to the Thailand Halal Assembly that has just successfully held last week. I, therefore, hope that we will continue to enhance the cooperation between our two organizations for the development of halal industry in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

          Partnering with Halal Institute of Spain has not been done in accidental. Thailand and Spain share many characteristics not only in terms of economic but also culture and social. Both countries are one of the largest food exporter with Spain ranked 7th globally while Thailand ranked 4th in Asia, just after China, India, and Indonesia.

          Thailand is also famous for its food, hospitality, culture and beautiful tourist attractions that enable it to draw more than 35 million international visitors last year. Spain did even better with over 82 million visitors in 2017. Despite, Thailand and Spain are not a Muslim majority country, but we still see millions of Muslim tourists from Gulf and North African countries visit Spain every year, while Thailand was ranked 2nd, after Singapore, as the top non-OIC most popular destination, with an index score of 61.8.

          Given these similarities in their performance, I therefore strongly believe that there are abundant of knowledge, experience, and know-how that we could exchange and learn from each, especially in tourism industry which Spain has expertise.

Ladies and gentlemen,

          When it comes to halal industry, no one deny that halal is growing faster and faster succeeding the growing of Muslim population around the world which expected to reach 3 billion in 2060. For halal foods alone, statistic shows that it has global market value of approximately 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is expected to reach 2.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023.

          Taking this trend into consideration, the Thai government, therefore, aims at promoting Thailand as one of the top five exporters of Halal products and services within the next five years. To achieve this goal, the government formulated a 5-year strategic action plan from 2016-2020 focusing on:

          (1) Strengthening the Thai Halal industry through research, development, and innovation (RDI)

          (2) Promoting Halal SMEs and Startups

          (3) Expanding markets to non-Muslim consumers

          (4) Promoting regional cooperation with neighboring countries

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

          As the industry is growing in size, concept of halal and its expectation also change accordingly. For halal tourism, one can longer take it for granted that having availability of spaces for prayers or halal food and beverage are enough to attract Muslim travelers. Need and preference of Muslim travelers are becoming more specific and tailored in recent years which go beyond traditional halal food to area such as pharmaceuticals, wellness, cosmetics, and even fashion.

          On top of that, understanding on the concept of halal among Muslim has also improved fundamentally from perceiving “halal” which means “permissible” as a stand-alone concept to involve more on another important part of “tayyib” (ตอยยิบ) which means “of good quality”. This line of argument that derived directly from the text of the Holy Quran has broaden concept of halal to entwine with modern values such as human rights, environment, and sustainability, and thus make halal concept become a standard not only for Muslim but also for all humanity. Specifically speaking, in tourism industry, providing halal food and beverage or place to pray won’t necessary be considered as truly halal if your business is still harmful to the environment or violate the right of labour.

          Taking into consideration the current challenges of islamophobia which hinder the development of halal industry in non-Muslim country, it is indispensable that the true understanding about Islam and in particular halal is promoted among public so that we could utilize and maximize full potential that we have in this industry. 

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

          I believe that this seminar will serve as an essential platform to educate us on the issues, challenges, and opportunities I have just mentioned earlier. I hope that you will benefit a great deal from both; the presentation of our distinguished speakers who will touch on several issues ranging from halal trend and opportunity to success story and case studies in Spain;  and also the discussion during the Q&A sessions.   

          On that note, I wish we have a very successful seminar that can equip us with the needed information and knowledge. Thank you.

*****************