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China, Malaysia sharing halal sector

Reporter: Rian Maelzer 丨 CCTV.com

06-06-2016 15:14 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Initiative

Muslims around the world have begun their dawn to dusk fasting for the month of Ramadan. The halal industry provides products that Muslims are permitted to consume and their use is estimated to be worth some 3 trillion dollars a year. However, demand for halal products still greatly outstrips supply. To try to help close that gap, and boost business in both countries, China is teaming up with Malaysia to work together in the halal sector.

Halal not only stipulates how animals must be slaughtered or what ingredients can go into food products. There are also halal cosmetics, health supplements, and a wide array of other products, while halal logistics ensures that halal goods are not contaminated on their way to market.

It’s big business, worth more than $2 trillion annually. So Malaysia and China are looking to team up to get a bigger slice of that lucrative halal pie.

"We have limited resources, whereas China have a lot of resources but they don't have enough knowledge and expertise when you talk about the halal industry. So I think it's just natural to have Malaysia and China to work together to create a win-win situation for both countries," said Jamil Bidin, CEO Malaysian halal industry development corp.

China only has about a 0.1 per cent share of the global halal market. To try to boost that, the Bank of China has been working with a Malaysian entrepreneur development agency to set up business matchmaking trips to China.

"We hope to introduce Chinese companies to Malaysia, and bring good Malaysian companies to China. This is how Bank of China is working as a bridge. So we think Halal is a very good field of collaboration," said Jenny Xu Zanjun, deputy CEO Bank of China, Malaysia office.

Among the participants is state-owned conglomerate Sime Darby, which is creating a halal light-industrial zone and shipping hub in Shandong Province.

"We want to make Weifang Sime Darby port as the main gateway for the halal products, not just for China. We are also thinking of getting potentially South Korean and Japanese companies to be based in China as well to increase the market size," said Lai Ah Chek Sime darby enterprise management Co.

China is hoping to leverage on Malaysia’s membership in the ASEAN Economic Community and the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as its close ties with Middle Eastern countries. This collaboration also fits neatly with China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to reinvigorate trade along the ancient Silk Road.

The hope is that thanks to this collaboration, in future Muslims everywhere will be breaking their fasts with a lot more products from both China and Malaysia.

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