The IGAD member states export live animals and meat to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market meeting only 50% and 10% annual demand respectively despite the close proximity and rich resources among others. The MENA market is however seasonal with high peaks during the Hajj season when millions of live animals are exported especially to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for festivity slaughter. Moreover, the market is often reported as a buyer market. To mitigate the seasonal demand and promote continuous exports, it was necessary to explore new markets in South East Asia while at the same time expanding the existing market in MENA. In this context, the livestock and meat project funded by Italian Development Cooperation and implemented by IGAD and FAO organized a trade mission for meat exporters and government regulatory bodies from IGAD exporting countries to Hong Kong to explore opportunities of entering the market for meat and agree on the way forward.
Mission key highlights and recommendations
- The mission visited the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce which has over 4,000 members who can be linked up with exporters from IGAD region for trade. Members’ contacts and profiles can be obtained from; wchamber.org.hk/
- The chamber chairman requested for investment opportunities in the livestock sector in East Africa to which ICPALD’s Director, Dr. S. Munyua promised to invite the chamber of commerce to participate in the planned IGAD investment forum that will take place early 2019 to interact with the investment agencies from member states and explore opportunities.
- Hong Kong can serve as a gateway to different cities that have a combined population of 66 million people that can provide good market for imported livestock and livestock products. Imported products can also be re-exported to China based on the close partnership agreement signed between Hong Kong and China.
- Meat import requirements for meat, poultry and game from countries with established protocols with the Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene were presented. More details available on http://cfs.fehd.hksarg/english/import/import_ifc.html
- Finally the delegation agreed on the way forward to timely submit application for export of meat products to Hong Kong from capable slaughter houses in IGAD member states.
ICPALD expresses appreciation to Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event through the IGAD /FAO implemented livestock and meat project.