By Alex How
Brunei distributors at the 4th China-Asean Expo (CAExpo) were amazed to find that their Halal food was much sought after in the Chinese market.
Representatives from the Halaqah Company said that the food exhibited at the CAExpo aroused keen interests of many trade visitors, who asked for samples, showing intent for cooperation according to the press release.
As quality products featuring clean and distinctive cultural flavour, the Halal food meets the new demands of modern people with a healthy outlook. Muslim people are not the only ones who rely on Halal food, those from other ethnic groups and with different religions are also interested in it.
Halal food has numerous consumers in the global market, and in particular, it enjoys prominent market potential in China. Among the 1.3 billion Muslim people, approximately 30 million are in China, mainly living in the northwestern part of the country, including Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, etc. The vast land and large population in China thus create a huge market with enormous business opportunities.
China's economic growth maintains momentum and purchasing capabilities of the Chinese citizens are increasingly enhanced, which is one of the reasons why Halal food enjoys a good market potential in China.
Statistics of the China Customs show that the bilateral trade volume between Brunei and China reached US$354 million in 2007, with $242 million being the export volume to China from Brunei and $112 million of exports to Brunei from China.
During the 3rd CAExpo, Brunei's Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources held a press conference at the Mingyuan Xindu Hotel of Nanning, Guangxi, where they briefed that the Brunei government was pushing the country's economic diversification drive and Chinese entrepreneurs were welcome to invest in various sectors of Brunei.
Currently, petrochemical enterprises of China has invested in natural gas and oil downstream industries in Brunei, and the Chinese investors are expected to look into other fields like Halal food processing.