On 21 September, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) made a newsletter about opportunities in Inner Mongolia for European companies, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Inner Mongolia is an Autonomous Region located in the north of China, stretching about 2400 kilometers long from east to west and with a maximum span of more than 1700 kilometers from north to south, accounting for 12.3% of the total land area of China. In 2021, the region achieved a GDP of CNY 2051.42 billion (USD 306 billion). In the same period, the total import and export value of the region’s increased with 17.2% year-on-year.
During the webinar, speeches were provided by Mr. Hao Dangzheng, First-Class Inspector of the Department of Commerce of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mr. Juan Carlos Vélez Cerezo, Chairman of the China Spain Business Association (CSBA), followed by presentations of the Ordos Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Baotou Municipal Bureau of Commerce and Hohhot Comprehensive Bonded Zone.
Stimulated by the Chinese Government, Inner Mongolia is becoming an important ecological and national energy base, as well as an agricultural and livestock production base. In this article we highlight two Belgian companies with activities in Inner Mongolia.
One of them is CARAH, the Center for Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry, a non-profit organization under the authority of the Province of Hainaut, providing agricultural services to operators of the agricultural, food and environment sectors. During the webinar, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr. André Parfonry, Director of CARAH. Examples of CARAH’s services are:
- Applied research, controlled environment and field trials and expertise in field crops, biotechnology, food technology, and related fields
- Professional training on crop and animal production
- Farm management and monitoring
- Farm inspection and certification of plant and animal production
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
In Belgium, CARAH is associated with the Provincial Technical School of Agriculture (IPES), the agri-food-environment university college HEPH-Condorcet and the Brussels University ULB. On an international level, CARAH implements international cooperation projects, in which its expertise and training programs contribute to sustainable development in agriculture, food or environment sectors.
Another example is European Spice Services (ESS), a family-owned company headquartered in Temse, Belgium. Olivier Nonneman, the COO based in Shanghai, spends one month in Bayannao’er each year to conduct crop surveys for some of their key products, such as bell pepper, tomato, jalapeno, chilies, paprika, etc. As one of the leading global suppliers for sustainable and food safe dehydrated vegetables and spices, Inner Mongolia is considered a major growing origin. Thanks to the close cooperation with the local farming communities, EPS ESS managed to take a 10% global market share in bell peppers.
Olivier Nonneman of EPS in Inner Mongolia
According to Olivier, Inner Mongolia provides a lot of potential for growth in the food industry, due to its rich soil, unlimited water supplies from the Yellow River and favorable climate with plenty of sunshine. The Inner Mongolia Government has invested heavily in the agricultural development of the region and provides financial incentives to farmers to expand the cultivation. Two years ago, no chillies were planted yet in the region, but now it is home to 108 different chili varieties. Many processing companies for sunflower- and pumpkin seeds are based in the region, of which staggering volumes end up in the cereal industry in Europe.
If you want to learn more about the opportunities for European companies in Inner Mongolia, please contact us or follow the official WeChat account of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC).