( dpa )- More firms in Singapore are obtaining halal certification in hopes of a slice of the global Muslim consumer market, Islamic Religious Council data said on Friday.
More than 8,000 certificates were issued by the council last year, up from 7,200 in 2006.
Goods must be certified as halal before they can be consumed by Muslims.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim told the Singapore International Halal Showcase that the industry has expanded beyond food and includes health supplements, cleansing agents and traditional Chinese medicines.
" Halal certification not only widens companies' market share locally, but it also extend their reach to bigger markets overseas," Yaacob said.
Firms are seeking to expand to the Middle East following a decision by the United Arab Emirates to recognize halal products from Singapore.
The showcase, which started on Thursday, is open through Sunday.