Aquaculture for all

Malaysia Targets China, Opens Agriculture Office In Beijing

BEIJING - Malaysia has opened an agriculture office in China, reports Bernama, its second overseas after the Netherlands. The office will help fruit and fisheries producers penetrate the huge Chinese market.

The unit is headed by Kamarularifin Ab Gani, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has a master's degree in management from a Beijing university.

"We have received quite a lot of enquiries from Malaysian exporters already. We are planning on a major promotion in the China Agriculture Exhibition in October in Beijing," Kamarularifin said.

His duties also include promoting Malaysia as a `halal' processing hub and to source for food in short supply in Malaysia like beef to export back.

Kamarularifin said for a start, Malaysia will focus on increasing exports of papayas, starfruit and pomelos to China starting in the bigger cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

"Currently, our exports of fruits to China is quite small, so there is a lot of room for expansion. At the same, there is also a lot of competition from other tropical sources like Thailand and the Philippines," he said.

"But the populous Chinese market and growing affluence in its eastern coastal belt provides plenty of potential for the `Malaysia's Best' tagged fruits," Kamarularifin said, pointing to the presence of international supermarket chains like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Tesco and also Malaysia's Parkson stores here.

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