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MONTREAL - A growing appetite for halal products around the globe has prompted the Canadian government to encourage businesses to taste the market for these foods.

Canada has so far failed to make much of an impression in the international market for products that respect Islamic dietary laws - also known as halal.

Yet Ottawa estimates the halal industry to be worth between US$500 billion and $2 trillion worldwide.

Now government trade experts and industry insiders alike are warning Canadian businesses they can ill afford to ignore the demographic trends feeding increasing demand for halal and kosher products.

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