China’s Ningxia Region Plans Air Cargo Charters To Kuala Lumpur

YINCHUAN (NINGXIA), Sept 13 (Bernama) — China’s Muslim-dominated
Ningxia autonomous region, which is beefing up its halal products
sector, is planning to start air cargo charters to Kuala Lumpur,
Bangkok and Dubai next year.

The charters will help export agriculture produce from the Chinese
north western region said Chen Zhigang, the director-general of the
Ningxia investment promotion bureau, in an interview on the sidelines
of the annual third China (Ningxia) International Halal Food and Muslim
Commodities Festival here.

“The construction of an international cargo logistics centre has just
started.The first phase will be completed in the first half of next
year. Once ready, we plan to have chartered cargo flights to Dubai,
Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for a start,” he added.

Chen said this would help boost trade and the development of the halal
industry in Ningxia. The region has a population of six million of
which more than a third are ethnic Hui chinese muslims.

The logistics centre will be a vital lifeline for Ningxia which has a strong agriculture and coal mining base.

Ningxia also started a cargo rail service to Tianjin port at the end of
June. All export formalities are cleared locally before the cargo is
trucked 1,600km to the northern port and loaded directly onto ships.

“We sought the cooperation of the Tianjin port authorities to establish
a quarantine and customs centre in Shizuishan, about 80km north of

“With the rail service, the air cargo charters and highways, we have a
network to supply products not only to other parts of China but also to
the world,” Chen said.

Chen said currently, there was not much business links between Ningxia
and Malaysia.But in recent years, Ningxia has established good
relations with Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn
Bhd (HDC).

“I am also hopeful that some Malaysian businessmen may be interested in
building four and five star hotels in Ningxia,” he added.

In 2006, Ningxia sold 360 tonnes of beef and mutton to Malaysia.

Chen said HDC officials had made more than 10 visits to Ningxia and
helped create an awareness of the wide range of food that can be halal
and not just meat and poultry.

“Apart from meat, we have a wide range of agriculture produce like
cereals, oil, vegetables, buckwheat and good quality rice,” he pointed

Ningxia has 800 halal food producers, excluding small operators, and 100 of them were licensed to export, he said.

The annual turnover of the halal producers is nearly 6 billion yuan (RM2.72 billion).

“They have a production capacity turnover of 10 billion yuan (RM4.5
billion). So their potential production is very big.It is only that our
markets are now limited and we are working to change that,” Chen said.