The Sarajevo Halal Fair Brings Together Halal Producers, Distributors and Consumers from Around the World

The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina will host the first Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) from 27-29 September 2018.
The Fair will bring together halal producers, distributors and consumers from all around the world in one place while promoting Muslim consumer activism. It will also encourage B2B meetings between top industry representatives from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Turkey. SHF is also a unique opportunity for halal producers to build new international contacts and engage with distributors of halal products and services from Southeast Europe.
The president of the Management Board of Bosna Bank International (BBI) discussed his vision of SHF with an AA journalist. As Bukvić said, SHF aims to position the region as a center for the production and distribution of halal products. With Southeast Europe’s cultural blend of East and West, it is a fantastic gateway for the Muslim world to tap into the growing Muslim populations and products of Europe.
“BiH, Serbia, Montenegro, and Slovenia have a very large number of halal-certified manufacturers trying to enter the market. The aim is to make a large fair—a large exhibition of all these products—and to bring distributors and suppliers from Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Indonesia, where large markets exist, to open the doors to our exporters,” Bukvić said.
He pointed out that this is a very important event that develops a new dimension of Sarajevo and BiH, which already hosts the Sarajevo Business Forum and the Sarajevo Film Festival. This new fair will position the capital of BiH on the world economic map.
SHF: An Annual Event
Bukvić emphasized that the halal industry has shown enormous potential for growth that is underpinned by 52 million European Muslims who care about halal consumption.
“It’s a big market; not only are producers in Southeast Europe increasingly interested in this market, many Eastern producers are interested in the European Union,” Bukvić emphasized.
He also pointed out that markets of the Islamic world are huge, with a global population of 1.5 billion.
“I think this Fair will try to enter that market—for distributors in that market—to offer them products from the fields of nutrition, tourism, finance, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and fashion industries, and all other industries taking advantage of this trend. It will be a significant challenge. For the citizens of Sarajevo, it’s a great opportunity to re-position Sarajevo into the center of global events, like hosts of the great Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Vienna festivals,” Bukvić explained.
BBI has organized Sarajevo Business Forum, the region’s largest investment conference, for the last decade. Also known as the “Balkan Davos,” the Forum’s success has created high standards for Bukvić and the organizers, and he commented on his expectations for SHF.
“My expectations are to see many distributers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other countries, who will engage with products from BiH, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and others. My expectations are that many of those who visit the Fair might realize that production in BiH is cheaper than exporting from Turkey or Saudi Arabia to Europe and start their production here, instead. This would reduce their transport costs while they enjoyed various customs benefits. I think it will be a great event that continues annually,” he said.
At the end of our conversation, Bukvić emphasized that he will work to enlarge Sarajevo as a destination for conferences and exhibitions. According to him, the city has no similar events but possesses a huge potential for them.
The Sarajevo Halal Fair takes place from 27- 29 September at the Skenderija Centre in Sarajevo.
SHF 2018 will provide numerous opportunities to domestic and international companies as a meeting place for all market participants, regulators and ultimately consumers of halal products and services.
The Fair also aims to stimulate additional investment and facilitate business cooperation in the halal industry. It will enable new insights into development trends within the halal industry, enhance relationships with local and foreign customers and distributors, and provide direct contact and feedback with consumers of halal products and halal service users.
There are more than 85 halal-certified companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and over 120 companies and 4.500 halal products and services in the region.
SHF 2018 will be held under the auspices of the Chairman of the BiH Presidency, His Excellency Mr. Bakir Izetbegović, and will be organised by Bosna Bank International (BBI) in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Video interview with Mr. Amer Bukvić for Anadolu Agency available in Bosnian from the following YouTube link: