Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The first Halal-certified vending machine in Taiwan made its debut at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) Friday, paving the way for building an even more friendly environment for Muslims.
With cooperation between the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the OK Mart convenience store chain, Taiwan's first OK mini vending machine was unveiled at the TICC, dispensing more than 20 Halal-certified Taiwanese products, with various forms of electronic payment such as Easy Cards, credit cards and mobile payments available.
To offer Muslim visitors to Taiwan more convenience, TAITRA is planning to team up with the Tourism Bureau to install the OK mini vending machines in 13 national scenic areas and tourist service centers throughout the country, said TAITRA President and Chief Executive Walter Yeh (葉明水).
Taiwan has made great efforts to build a Muslim-friendly environment in recent years, gaining this year the recognition of Mastercard, which ranked Taiwan as the third-best travel destination alongside the United Kingdom and Japan in its Global Muslim Travel Index.
In 2018, 760,000 Muslim visitors, mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia, visited Taiwan, and the number had already climbed to 430,000 in the first seven months of this year, according to Tourism Bureau tallies.
According to TAITRA statistics, 1,075 businesses in Taiwan have been granted Halal certification, including 252 restaurants and hotels.
Halal certification guarantees that products and services aimed at the Muslim population meet the requirements of Islamic law and are therefore suitable for consumption in both Muslim-majority countries and in Western countries where there are significant populations who practice Islam, such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.