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Xinjiang Sets Up First Muslim Food Association

Xinhua, 20 April 2002

URUMQI, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Urumqi Muslims' Food Association, the first of its kind in the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where the most Muslims in China live.

Local Muslim food producers launched the organisation. It is mainly composed of businesses and individuals engaged in processing, storing, transporting and selling food for Muslims.

At present there are about 600 enterprises and 8,000 small businessmen involved in the Muslim food industry in Urumqi. Muslim food producers from other provinces and even from abroad also come to Xinjiang, which leads to hot competition.

Rule violations often occur in the production and management of Muslim food. Some ventures and small businessmen, driven by profits, violate the rules and harm consumers' rights and the good name of the Muslim food industry.

The goal of the association is to establish a self- disciplinary mechanism in the Muslim food sector and encourage healthy competition, said Ma Yuande, director of the city committee in charge of ethnic affairs and religion. Ma added that the association would help develop Muslim food markets in China's hinterland and in neighboring countries, including five Central Asian countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.