Addis Ababa — East African countries, under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), on Monday disclosed their interest in penetrating Southeast Asia's meat and live animals market via Hong Kong.
IGAD member countries, which usually export live animals and meat to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said Hong Kong's meat and live animals market could help to mitigate some of the challenges faced while exporting to MENA region, IGAD said in a statement.
According to IGAD, despite the close proximity and East Africa's rich animal resources, the region was only able to meet 50 percent and 10 percent of the annual demand of the Middle East and North African markets respectively.
Noting the seasonal nature of MENA's meat and live animal market, which reaches its high peak during religious seasons when millions of live animals exported especially to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for festivity slaughter, IGAD stressed "the need to mitigate the seasonal demand and promote continuous exports."
"It was necessary to explore new markets in Southeast Asia while at the same time expanding the existing market in MENA," the statement read.
The East African bloc IGAD, which recently sent its trade mission to Hong Kong to explore opportunities of entering the market for meat, also hailed the possibilities to penetrate the region's meat market via Hong Kong.
"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," IGAD said.
IGAD, which also held discussions with the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce, also noted the potential to work in partnership with the chamber and its more than 4,000 members.