Community and Sectoral Outreach

Prospects for the Bangsamoro: Halal Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 21, Honorary Aleem Siddiqui Matabalao Guiapal presented a talk on  the Philippines-ASEAN-U.S. initiative in developing the Halal industry in Bangsamoro.

He examined the political and economic prospects for the Bangsamoro focusing on the promotion of the Halal industry in the Philippines with other ASEAN member countries and the U.S. as trading partners. With close to 2 billion Muslims and with Halal products increasingly used by the general consuming public all over the world, the Halal market presents an unprecedented opportunity for expanding economic ties between the Philippines, its ASEAN partners and the U.S., and thus to become a critical element in the peace building initiatives of the Bangsamoro in the Philippines.

The Bangsamoro

refers to the 13 ethno-linguistic groups in the Southern Philippines. As an autonomous political entity, it includes the Lumads and non-Moro Settlers in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. There has been a long standing insurgency in this region dating back to the American annexation of the Philippines in 1899. Political tensions beginning in 1969 were mitigated with the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front in 1996, the Enactment of Republic Act 6734 (amended by RA 9054) creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and most recently the signing of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Aleem Siddiqui M. Guiapal

Scholar-in-Residence affiliated with the ASEAN Studies Initiative at the School of International Service, American University. He is the Bureau Director of the Muslim Economic Affairs of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines. In 2012 he was recognized as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims for fostering economic development. He received the 2013 Contribution to Society Asia HRD award for spearheading education and learning initiatives. He is also credited for mapping various networking strategies that have brought inventors to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. In addition, Mr. Aleem has played a key role in strengthening the Philippine government’s economic policy towards Islamic financing and Halal industry development. He holds a Master’s degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management, a BA (Law) from Manuel L. Quezon University, a BA (Political Science) from Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, and an International Certificate in Islamic Microfinance from Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics in Dubai

The event took place at the American University (AU) and was co-hosted by the US-Philippines Society and AU’s ASEAN Studies Initiative.

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