Inspirational Milestone: Halal Science Center’s Remarkable 20-Year Journey
Chiang Mai, Thailand – September 11th, 2023
In a remarkable journey that spans two decades, the Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a commitment to unite science, technology, and the principles of Halal to benefit not only the Muslim community but society at large. Established in 2003 with a clear vision to boost the export of Halal products from Thailand, the center has achieved unprecedented success. Since its inception, the export of Halal products from Thailand has grown by a staggering 25 times, soaring from USD 247 million to an impressive USD 6.1 billion.
Empowering Society through Safe Food
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai Dahlan, Ph.D, the Director of the Halal Science Center, shared his profound perspective on the Halal market, emphasizing that it transcends the boundaries of religious dietary preferences. “Halal is not only about Muslim food; it’s about safe food, which can be appreciated globally,” he declared. This distinction is crucial as it underscores that Halal principles are not limited to serving the Muslim community but extend to providing safe and quality food for everyone, regardless of their faith.
An astonishing revelation is that approximately 95% of those involved in the Halal market, including entrepreneurs, farmers, and capitalists, are non-Muslims. This statistic highlights the universality and inclusivity of the Halal concept, emphasizing its potential to benefit a diverse and global audience. In this era of collaboration, where technology plays a pivotal role, the center is set to merge the principles of Halal with cutting-edge technology. It aims to pilot the use of blockchain systems to ensure and enhance Halal product standards, a step that signifies the convergence of tradition and innovation.
Chiang Mai’s Role in Nurturing Growth
Chiang Mai, a province renowned for its potential, has a special place in the center’s expansion plans. The Chiang Mai Center, established to support SME entrepreneurs in exporting a wide range of Halal products, also focuses on developing digital skills among its workforce. By blending traditional knowledge with modern technology, Chiang Mai is poised to become an essential hub for Halal product development and distribution.
With the global Halal market estimated to be worth up to 4 trillion US dollars, Thailand’s current export earnings of USD 6.1 billion represent only a fraction of the market’s potential. Hence, the room for growth is vast, and the partnership between Halal principles and technology, spearheaded by the Halal Science Center, is pivotal for seizing this opportunity. Chiang Mai will serve as a pilot province for implementing blockchain systems in factories across eight provinces in the upper northern region, setting the stage for transformative growth.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Paradorn Sureepong, Assistant Director of the Halal Science Center in Chiang Mai, highlighted the center’s collaborative efforts with various stakeholders, including the Provincial Islamic Committee, universities, government agencies, private sector partners, and the tourism and industrial sectors. Together, they are shaping international standards for Halal products and facilitating the export of more than 300 SMEs to Muslim markets.
In conclusion, the Halal Science Center’s 20th-anniversary celebration stands as a testament to the power of unity, innovation, and inclusivity. It exemplifies how combining the principles of Halal with advanced technology can create a brighter, safer, and more prosperous future for society at large, transcending cultural and religious boundaries. As the center continues to evolve, it reaffirms its commitment to serving humanity by offering safe and quality food to the world while fostering economic growth and technological advancement.