Halal boom in Kazakhstan

With a population exceeding 76 million and approximately 90 per cent of them practising the Islamic faith, the region of Central Asia is a suitable prospect for marketing halal products and services.

The large number of people practising the Muslim faith in the region is a boon to the halal industry, giving companies and organisations many business and marketing opportunities that would no doubt contribute to the economic growth of the area.

Additionally, the region had also executed several government stratagems to assist in expanding and supporting the halal landscape, allowing for smooth and seamless business operations for companies, organisations, and businesses, and even incentivising investments.

With a wide range of business opportunities, such as food and beverage (F&B) and financing, there is no shortage of options for the business-minded. One such country is ripe for the picking – Kazakhstan.

After declaring its independence from the now-dissolved Soviet Union in December 1991, Kazakhstan registered itself as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1995.

After its independence, Kazakhstan’s citizens began actively practising the Islamic faith.

Additionally, Kazakhstan’s government started implementing strategies to create unified halal standards for its Muslim citizens to adhere to Sharia Law.

In 2005, Sarsenbayev M, Chairman of the Association of Halal Industry of Kazakhstan, ordered the creation of a committee to develop halal standards. It was on behalf of Absattar-kazhy Derbisali, the Supreme Mufti of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and approved them in the system of State Standards.

The halal standards used by Kazakhstan follow Malaysia’s international halal standards, developed by a Federal agency, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.

From there, Kazakhstan established its religious authority. In 2006, the Kazakhstan Halal Industry Association was founded, resulting in the country’s exponential growth of halal food companies.

With a dense population of Muslims in Kazakhstan, there is no shortage of opportunities for businesses, companies, and organisations.

The halal F&B sector is ripe for the picking as the country has a large agricultural industry, for producing halal food products. With a growing demand for meat and dairy products, one can see the potential for developing halal food processing facilities. Kazakhstan citizens have also been interested in halal cosmetics and personal care products. With the  increasing demand and popularity for these products within the country, comes opportunity.

Even pharmaceuticals are in growing demand in Kazakhstan, especially when Covid-19 hit in 2020. One can see the potential for developing
manufacturing facilities for halal medicines and supplements in Kazakhstan.

Although still in its early stages, there is also potential growth for the Islamic finance industry in Kazakhstan. The country introduced regulations for Islamic banking, with the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), in 2018. The AIFC is the pioneering platform in Central Asia to provide businesses with systemic access to Islamic finance. @Halal