China in­vites Pak­istan to tap Ha­lal food mar­ket

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

BEI­JING—Pak­istan, the sec­ond largest ex­porter of rice to China, has ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to grab a siz­able share in the ha­lal food mar­ket as well as meet the de­mand for fruits, pri­mar­ily man­goes, through bet­ter com­pet­i­tive­ness in terms of qual­ity and price, said Ye An­ping, Direc­tor for Asia and African Af­fairs, Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional, Min­istry of Agriculture, China.

Talk­ing to a group of jour­nal­ists from South Asia, who were on a visit to China, he said Pak­istan and China should en­ter into live­stock and agriculture quar­an­tine agree­ments to clear the way for ex­port of meat and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to Bei­jing.

In re­ply to a ques­tion, he said the bal­ance of trade in agri­cul­tural prod­ucts was in favour of Pak­istan as in 2015 China im­ported agri-prod­ucts, of which rice con­sti­tuted 85%, worth $430 mil­lion from Pak­istan and ex­ported fruits and veg­eta­bles valu­ing $320 mil­lion.

“China does not want to re­duce its trade deficit be­cause it wants to ex­pand agri­cul­tural trade to meet its do­mes­tic de­mand,” he said, re­it­er­at­ing that tremen­dous scope ex­isted for Pak­istan and other South Asian na­tions to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­nity.

Ye em­pha­sised that coun­tries keen to en­hance ex­ports of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to China needed to un­der­stand the de­mand from Chi­nese mar­kets and also ought to be ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive.

He also in­vited the coun­tries in­ter­ested in gain­ing ac­cess to the Ha­lal mar­ket of China to at­tend the Chi­naArab States Expo that was held in Ningxia Hui au­ton­o­mous re­gion ev­ery two years in Septem­ber.

He ac­knowl­edged that the cost of Chi­nese agri­cul­tural prod­ucts was com­par­a­tively high and Bei­jing, be­cause of the con­stant shrink­ing of its cul­tivable land, had turned into the largest im­porter of agri­cul­tural goods in the world since 2012.—APP

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