Dhaka, January 21:

Bangladesh’s lone meat-processing company said on Sunday it was in line to launch the country’s first-ever meat exports, sending halal or Islamic-certified products to the Middle East.

The Bengal Meat Company said it was expecting clearance for export to Dubai in the next few weeks as it looks for a share of the global market in halal products, estimated at $1.2 trillion annually.

“We have sent samples of our meat to Dubai authorities. As soon as we get clearance, we will start exporting,” said the firm’s chief executive, Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury. “The Dubai officials have visited the plant and they were impressed with our standards. We expect the clearance within one or two weeks,” he said.

Bangladesh has one of the world’s biggest livestock populations with goat and cattle the mainstays, according to Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). But the country has never exported meat and the current plan came about only after the government offered a 20 per cent export subsidy, said Chowdhury.

“Initially, we will export $50,000 worth of meat every day. We are confident it will grow by leaps and bounds,” said Chowdhury, a former chief of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.