NW China region eyes global Muslim market
Updated: 2008-07-09 11:16

China's largest Muslim region is trying to increase exports to Muslim countries by 20 percent annually over the next five years, a local official said in Yinchuan on Tuesday.

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, in the country's northwest, plans to foster 10 major export enterprises of Muslim food and commodities with stronger competitive edge, said He Zhaojun, head of the trade department of Ningxia's commerce administration.

At the same time, the region would establish a strict quality standard system to help companies get recognition from the world Muslim market, he said, adding quality was the main barrier to export increases.

In 2007, Ningxia exported nearly 50 types of goods to more than 20 Muslim countries, earning about $80 million. Its total trade volume with the Muslim market hit $133 million.

However, trade turnover among all Muslim countries stands at about $1 trillion a year, while China registers $200 billion in imports and exports to the Muslim market, according to He.

"It means Ningxia has a lot opportunities in improving economic and trade exchanges with Muslim countries."

In addition, the land-locked region is working on preferential economic policies to attract more Muslim investors from companies, organizations and financial institutions, a way to enhance communication and exchanges.

Ningxia is home to 2.17 million Muslims, accounting for over one-third of the region's total population and more than one-tenth of China's 20 million Muslims.

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