IMO News Service
Madrid, Spain. The first Spanish Halal exhibition, ExpoHalal Spain 2015, closed its doors on October 22, 2015 in Madrid with more than 60 exhibitors and a great flow of visitors.
“We are very happy with the expectations we have risen for this first edition. We have had more tan 60 exhibitors, and visitors from at least 40 countries. The feedback from the foreign delegations has been very positive too,” said Anwar El Mezwaghi, chairman of Ambar Connect, the company behind the tradeshow.
ExpoHalal Spain 2015 became the starting point for the Spanish companies in the Halal world, a market of growth boost by the increasing population of the Muslim countries and a higher demand for healthy and ethic products and services all over the world, but not really well known outside countries with a low Muslim population, like Spain.
However, the fact that Spanish companies enjoy a leadership role in the agro food and tourism sectors and the good historical relations between the country and its MENA neighbors convinced the local companies and their potential partners to gather together at the Expo. Also, showed exhibition, the first Halal expo held in Spain met exhibitors from the agro food sector, but also from tourism, cosmetics and logistical companies.
“Our company decided to go for this project with the firm conviction that the expo could really help Spain to become the meeting point of the Halal industry at a global level,” said Carolina de Funes, director of Ambar Connect, who thanked the support of institutions like ICEX, Turespaña, Casa Árabe or Madrid Destino.
During the conferences held at the expo the speakers clarified the term Halal and its implications for the companies involved in the sector. “Halal is not yet associated only to the Muslim world”, said Abdalla Abdelqadir Al Maeeni, general director at ESMA.
Islamic finance, key to export to Arab and Muslim countries or the Muslim friendly, was some of the aspects covered during the conferences held at the expo, with relevant conclusions on them. For instance: “The Islamic Finances are a new way of doing finances, but their baselines are not new or exclusive for the islamic religión: they are universal”, explained Ummer Suleman, executive manager of the Islamic Finance Council UK.
“The Muslim tourist is not a complicated client. It is just an issue of being a good host and make them feel at home,” stated Francisco Garrido, Deputy Director of Hotel Intercontinental.
One of the points of interest during the two days was the presence in the stand of Balkis Gourmet of one of the best Spanish slicers, who demonstrated his skills with a lamb leg. The sweet spot came from chocolates Maruja, a Spanish firm well known in the Maghreb; Elgorriaga, with more than 250 years of experience, and the traditional candies from El Caserío de Tafalla. Needless to talk about the strong presence of the Murcia region towards, for instance, Port of Cartagena, and more than 30 stands from the Spanish meat companies, the shopping tourism represented by strong international brands as El Corte Inglés or the emerging sector of the health tourism confirmed by the stand of Sanitas.
The positive feedback from public and exhibitors together with the official support from many international institutions encouraged El Mezwaghi to confirm Expo Halal Spain for November 2016.