Ummid Assistant

Exam time: Dial a helpline to overcome stress

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Business & Finance

China uses Halal meat to boost exports to Muslim countries

Monday December 31, 2012 08:44:06 AM, IINA



Yinchuan (China): The praying and slaughtering begin every morning at sunrise. “Allahu Akbar” intones the imam over each cow before it is strung up by its hooves and quartered.

This scene and other religious and ethnic practices set China’s Muslim minorities apart from the rest of the population, and the differences frequently led to clashes with the government in the past.


But now, the country’s leaders are embracing the large Muslim population in this remote and relatively undeveloped city in the northwestern province of Ningxia, hoping that frozen packs of halal meat produced here can help build economic bridges with the Middle East, according to a report in Washington Post.

With the U.S. and European economies still recovering, the Arab world is an increasingly enticing market for Chinese exports and a potential source of investors for Chinese projects.


Middle Eastern countries are also some of the closest positioned to help develop China’s western provinces, which have fallen far behind its flourishing eastern coastal cities during the past three decades of economic boom.


Perhaps most important, on a strategic level, China wants to protect and strengthen its access to the Middle East’s oil and energy resources, which are fueling the country’s economic growth.

“The short-term goal of increasing halal meat going to Arab countries is to build up our local economy and workforce,” said one provincial official here, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the strategy of central authorities.


“But the real goal is to introduce the Arab world to us and get them comfortable with the idea of building up their relations and investment in China. . . . And energy is not the only reason behind it, but it is a big one", he added.


China’s government has thrown considerable diplomatic and political resources during the past five years into building up Middle East ties. Lavish conferences have been sponsored across the country, ethnic festivals held to celebrate Chinese Muslims’ heritage, and trade delegations sent out from both sides, including two visits to Saudi Arabia by outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The most recent large-scale event — an economic forum that included high-level dignitaries from China and the United Arab Emirates — took place this fall in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia.


In private conversations on the sidelines, Chinese officials described an overall strategy of outreach to the Middle East that was laid out in broad terms by central authorities, then planned and executed in more detail by local officials.


The efforts appear to have produced some positive results. Last year, Sino-Arab trade increased by 35 percent to $196 billion, according to Chinese officials, and in the first half of this year, trade rose 22 percent over the same period in 2011, to $111.8 billion.


The Sino-Arab trade remains dominated by oil, but Chinese exports such as textiles and home appliances have made a strong showing, according to limited data released by Chinese officials.

The decision by central authorities to make Ningxia a focal point for bridge-building efforts aimed at the Middle East gave local business leaders a much-needed boost of hope. It is hard to find a province more in need of development.


A desert region largely left behind during China’s economic boom, Ningxia has the country’s third-smallest gross domestic product and few exports that it can rely on besides a fruit called wolfberry.


One thing it does have in abundance, however, are Muslims. Two million members of the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority called Hui live here, making up a third of the province’s population.


The Hui are thought to be descendants of Arab and Persian traders going back to the ancient days of the Silk Road. Local officials are starting small, with exports of such products as halal meat.


But there are ambitious — and perhaps overly optimistic — plans to eventually turn the province into a gleaming financial hub for trade with the Arab world.

At the Yinshun company’s slaughterhouse and meat factory on the outskirts of town, Vice General Manager Yang Li, an ethnic Hui, described the company’s goals as largely profit-driven but also patriotic and cultural.


Almost half the staff are Hui, and the company follows strict Islamic rules about what their cows and sheep eat and drink, when slaughter can be performed and under what conditions.


The factory, which is two years old, has hosted high-level dignitaries from Muslim countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.


But there have been some obstacles to increasing its exports, chief among them getting its halal meat certified under the byzantine and often-protectionist national laws of many Arab states.


Yinshun, for instance, shipped 125 tons of halal meat last year to the Middle East, but it is in pursuit of deals that could increase that figure more than 10 times over, officials said.

Although Chinese officials have talked about their hope to diversify trade with the region, the lion’s share of Sino-Arab trade still consists of oil. Similarly, the long-term goal of luring investors from the Middle East has been slow to materialize, several officials from both sides acknowledged.


“It’s true there’s still not much investment coming from Arabic countries,” said Nazha Aschenbrenner, director of a trade initiative created by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade.


Highlighting the shared Muslim culture and religion in places such as Ningxia helps, she said. But, ultimately, business decisions come down to money.




Home | Top of the Page



Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS

More on Islamic Finance

UAE kicks off halal standardization worldwide

Islamic Finance set to expand in more countries: David McLean

Jordan to establish regional center for Islamic banking

Sharjah Islamic Bank to host 6th National Carnival

Ethica releases free e-book on Islamic finance

Nominations for Islamic economics research prize launched

Al-Hillal Bank rolls out Shariah-compliant MasterCard

Germany to get first Islamic bank in October

Halal India launches online restaurant guide

Banks plan Shariah assets for Asian millionaires

Sharjah Islamic bank launches training programme

ATM for blind launched in Sharjah

Egyptian Parliament prepares Islamic banking regulations

Non-Muslims in South Africa favor Islamic finance

'Translating Quranic injunctions to reality for wellbeing more important'





In Depth

Islamic finance gives universities a bonus

With global finance on its knees, this summer's business graduates face an even trickier jobs market than most. But there is one area of banking still experiencing boom time – Islamic finance – and universities have been quick to grasp its possibilities.   »

Lack of experts, no regulatory authority hinder growth of Islamic Finance

Global Islamic finance industry worth over $1tr in asset terms

‘Don’t let the name scare you. Islamic banking is beneficial for all'

Encouraged by the results, other international banks like HSBC and Barclay have also introduced special windows. These windows have facilities for the people interested in dealing on the principles of Islamic Shariah. Likewise is the Islamic Bank of Britain. The very concept of these banks is that they are following the Islamic principles,  »

Learn from Islamic banking success stories: Rahman Khan

IDB, Insaniah varsity launch master's degree program in Islamic finance


  Related Articles

People from other religions too opting for halaal foods

Health concerns see members of other religious groups seeking advice on suitable foods. Non-Muslims are becoming part of the estimated 635-billion worldwide halaal (permissible) market, South African National Halaal Authority (Sanha)  »

Iran announces new Islamic internet

Iran has announced it would launch an Islamic internet to counter the influence of the US-dominated world wide web. "Iran will soon create an internet that conforms to Islamic principles, to improve its communication and trade links with the world," Ali Aqamohammadi, head of  »

Iran to launch national internet in August



Shariah Index launched, BSE hopeful of quick returns

The Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia’s oldest trading floor, along with the Mumbai-based Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solutions on Monday launched an index comprising shares, of   »

Indian Muslim traders welcome sharia-compliant share index

Nigeria issues license to first Islamic Bank

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) June 21 has issued provisional license to Jaiz International Bank to launch Nigeria's first Islamic bank, a media report said. The CBN has given the license to Jaiz International Bank subject to fulfilling the bank authorization  »

Islamic banking thrives in financial crisis

Islamic banking has emerged as one of the most rapidly expanding sectors of the global financial industry, with expectations that it will play a growing role in the years to come.Banks and financial institutions that comply with Islamic law (sharia) showed impressive resilience   »

Equity Market: An investment option the Islamic way

In order to remain in the main stream of the economy and have equitable investment opportunity, equity stock market (The Islamic way) provides the most cost effective investment solution for the Muslims. Hence they should take advantage of the boom in the equity market of the country so that they are not left behind in the economic growth that is being witnessed  »


Picture of the Day

Dr Shariq Nisar, Director of Research and Operations of India’s premier shariah advisory firm TASIS and one of the senior most professionals of Islamic Finance in India, was in Malegaon on Sunday to address a seminar on "Prospects of Islamic Finance in India".




RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side


Education & Career

    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.