The first China-Arab States Expo has opened in Yinchuan city of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region. It features trade fairs and seminars on agriculture, energy, culture and tourism. Of the enterprises that are attending the expo, China's Halal food producers have been attracting a lot of attention.
A new opportunity for the Chinese Halal food industry.
China and Arab states share a long history of trade and commerce. The Chinese are familiar with Halal food, especially Halal pastry.
However, Halal fruit juice is a newcomer to the market. With an eye on Middle Eastern markets, Chinese juice producers are promoting two different types of products, one for domestic consumers and one for Arab markets, with labels and instructions written in Arabic.
Wang Meng, president of Xiangjuzhai Huiyuan Halai Beverage Company, said, "The processing, storage, logistics and selling of our products are all carried out under Islamic Sharia law, which is approved by the Chinese Islamic Association. We also talk to our Middle Eastern consumers so that we can cater for their needs."
China’s exports to Arab states in 2012 exceeded 90 billion US dollars, while imports reached more than 130 billion dollars, says Li Jinzao, the Vice-Minister of Commerce. Major cooperation areas focus on energy, mechanical equipment and consumer goods.
Saudi Arabia merchant said, "China is an influential country. The Saudi Arabia delegation have visited some Chinese enterprises here. We announced yesterday that we will establish a China-Saudi Arabia investment company."
The five-day Expo is jointly sponsored by China’s Ministry of Commerce, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the government of Ningxia.
The fair draws the participation of more than 7,300 domestic and overseas officials, exhibitors, purchasers and investors from Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Kuwait and other Arab countries.