NW China region pushes for closer exchanges with Muslim countries

09:23, March 14, 2010      

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Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is pushing for more economic and cultural exchanges with Muslim countries and regions, a senior local official has said.

The region plans this year to initiate a trade forum between China and Arab countries and support Ningxia University to jointly build a Confucius Institute with Dubai College in the United Arab Emirates, said Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the regional government.

It also plans to build six overseas sales centers to market Ningxia-made Muslim food and commodities, said Wang, also deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), on the sidelines of the ongoing annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the region is seeking to establish a bonded zone for Muslim food and commodities and endeavoring to attract Muslim countries to set up consulates in Ningxia's capital city Yinchuan, Wang said.

"We will also steadily advance the pilot operation of Islamic countries and regions' financial businesses in Ningxia," he said.

Ningxia has seen closer ties with Muslim countries and regions in recent years. Ningxia-made Muslim food and commodities have entered the markets of a number of Islamic countries.

The autonomous region is home to more than 2.1 million people from the Hui ethnic group that practice Islam, or 36 percent of the region's total population.

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