''Catch me if you can'': elusive Minullina, chack-chack for Arabs and large-scale halal exhibition

Kazansummit 2019 starts in the capital of Tatarstan

''Catch me if you can'': elusive Minullina, chack-chack for Arabs and large-scale halal exhibition Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Russia — Islamic World: KazanSummit 2019 forum started its work in Kazan on 24 April.

This year, the participants are discussing how to conduct sharia business in a secular state, how to implement national halal standards, what is required from socially responsible business, what determines the business climate in the regions of Russia for the OIC countries. Despite the increased number of participants in the organization of the summit, according to the observations of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, there is something to work on. About the largest halal exhibition, “uncaught” director of the Investment Development Agency and foreign cases to attract investors – read in our material.

Adhan and the biggest halal exhibition of the CIS

XI International Economic Summit Russia — Islamic world: KazanSummit 2019 opened in the capital of Tatarstan on 24 April. The forum was organized by the government of the Republic and Tatarstan and the Investment Development Agency with the support of the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC). The events are held at the exhibition centre Kazan Expo, which is near the Kazan Airport, in the village of Bolshie Kabany, Laishevsky district. In past years, the summit was held at the sites of the Korston hotel complex. Many participants now complained about the relatively long distance from the city centre.

The forum opened with the exhibition RussiaHalalExpo, which was organized by the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Tatarstan (MSB RT), the Halal Standard Committee at the MSB RT and Investment Development Agency. According to the Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the exhibition Ayrat Kasimov, it has become the largest in the history of halal exhibitions in Russia and the CIS. So, a year ago the exhibition was more modest and occupied an area of 1,400 square metres. About a hundred exhibitors from eight countries, 13 regions of Russia accommodated on almost 5,000 square metres. At the exhibition there was organized a conference hall, which hosted session meetings dedicated to the halal subject. According to preliminary calculations, there were more than 5,000 visitors.

Several agreements are planned to be signed within the framework of the forum.

“It is planned to sign a memorandum with the Centre of Metrology and Standardization with the OIC countries (SMIIC),” Kasimov announced. “The standards that are adopted in the Islamic world will be applied here (in Tatarstan – editor’s note). On the part of our republic, there will be the Russian Islamic Institute, which established the technical committee Halal, and the ministry of agriculture. Our President Rustam Minnikhanov has recently set a goal to promote halal exports.

It also presents Muslim clothing, so there were fitting rooms organized

Among the innovations of the exhibition, there is a large prayer room with an area of 90,000 metres. Within three days, there will be heard adhan — call to namaz. There was also a market area — a platform for small producers. Muslim clothing was also presented here, so there were fitting rooms. As for the stands, the organizers of the exhibition focused on the sphere of tourism: expositions from Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan, Iran, Saudi Arabia were presented.

“Russia ranks fourth in halal tourism. About 22 million Muslims live in our country. We show that there are ‘halal’ regions — Tatarstan and Dagestan. We have to show that there are enough prayer rooms and places of halal food,” Kasimov emphasized.

Catch Talia if you can

One of the first in the summit agenda, there was the discussion ‘Fascinating investment stories: catch me if you can’, in the announcement of which the chief speaker was the head of the Investment Development Agency of the Republic of Tatarstan — Talia Minullina. To the surprise of the press, instead there came the head of the information and analytical department, Marina Yepifantseva.

“Talia Ilgizovna during this time takes part in the meetings of the president with the guests of the forum, so she cannot be here. And I only give an introduction,” Yepifantseva began and in a moment left the audience. She returned only to the end of the conference. “Indeed, catch Minullina if you can,” the journalists joked.

Other speakers representing the investment development agencies of Udmurtia, Dubai (UAE), Sharjah (UAE) and Malaysia shared their positive impressions of the exhibition, briefly told about their regions.

“The shopping centre Halal was created in Dubai, which was visited by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov last year,” said the expert of the free zone of Dubai Airport Abdur-Rahim Ghulam Nabi. “There they discuss the problems and prospects of global development of the halal industry. Naturally, the United Arab Emirates is considering opportunities for cooperation with Russia, so that Russian products are exported to the OIC countries. For example, you can export your lovely chak-chack and other goods that will certainly find their consumer outside of the Russian Federation.”

In turn, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Development Organization of Malaysia Arham Abdul Rahman reported on the requirements that the country's leadership puts forward to attract investors. First, all transactions should be as transparent as possible. The state provides political stability.

“In many countries, investors face such a problem. The top leaders of the states declare one thing, persuade business representatives to come to their cities. When they agree, then at the regional level local authorities put obstacles. We do not allow such things,” said the Malaysian official.

“Second, the authorities of Kuala Lumpur give priority to long-term projects — for 10-15 years. Third, we try to respond to investors' requests as quickly as possible and not to delay the answers for several days.”

The international economic summit in Kazan lasts three days, until April 26. It includes panel discussions, press conferences and business meetings. The guests share their vision of the prospects of economic cooperation between Russia and the countries of the Islamic world. The main event — the plenary session “Russia — the Islamic world: from prospects to practical implementation” — is taking place today. It is expected that Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov is going to take part in its work.

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By Timur Rakhmatullin
Analytics Tatarstan