YINCHUAN - Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region has revealed ambitions of expanding the overseas presence of its Muslim product industry by establishing a Sino-Malaysian joint venture specializing in developing products for the Muslim market.
The Ningxia-Fahim International Halal Industry Co Ltd, which started operations on Wednesday, was invested jointly by Ningxia Agricultural Comprehensive Investment Co Ltd (NACI) and Malaysia Fahim Science and Technology Co Ltd.
NACI held a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, but the total investment was not given.
Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, hopes the joint venture can use the Malaysian company's influence in the International Halal Association to raise global awareness of Muslim-oriented products manufactured in Ningxia, thereby boosting the local economy.
Under their agreement, the two investors will focus on the construction of a production base, research and development of new products, technical training, e-commerce and facilitating the mutual acceptance of Muslim products manufactured in Ningxia and Malaysia.
Ningxia, which has China's highest population of Muslim people, is a domestic base of Halal food and Muslim products. Nearly 10,000 companies are now engaged in catering to this industry, generating more than 20 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in aggregate yearly industrial output. More than 80 percent of Ningxia's catering business was generated by Halal food.
"For a long time, however, the development of Ningxia's Halal food industry has been hampered by the lack of internationally-recognized certifications," Wang said.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said at the opening ceremony that the foundation of the joint venture marks a good beginning for the internationalization of China's Muslim product industry and will deepen the economic and trade cooperation between China and Malaysia.