China, Canada deepen farm trade

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU WEI in Bei­jing xuwei@chi­

China and Canada is look­ing to fur­ther boost the trade and tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor as the two coun­tries marked the 45th an­niver­sary of diplo­matic re­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts and of­fi­cials from the two coun­tries.

China is Canada’s sec­ond-largest mar­ket for its agri­cul­tural, agri-food, seafood and bev­er­age prod­ucts. In 2014, the trade vol­ume was val­ued about 26 bil­lion yuan(CAD 5.3 bil­lion).

How­ever, Stephen Yar­row, vice pres­i­dent of CropLife Canada, the trade as­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing the de­vel­op­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers, and dis­trib­u­tors of plant science in­no­va­tions in Canada, be­lieved that China has much larger po­ten­tial in the im­port­ing of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from Canada.

“We want to ex­pand on the ex­port­ing of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to China. The big ob­jec­tive of our trip is to ex­pand trade with China, trade in Cana­dian agri­cul­tural prod­ucts. That cov­ers a lot of dif­fer­ent things: live­stock an­i­mals, meat, blue­ber­ries, canola and soy­beans,” he said.

Yar­row was part of a del­e­ga­tion of agri­cul­tural of­fi­cials, com­pany ex­ec­u­tives and trade union rep­re­sen­ta­tives that vis­its Bei­jing in June to hold talks with their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts on the ex­pan­sion of agri­cul­tural trade.

The del­e­ga­tion, led by Cana­dian Agri­cul­ture and Agri-Food Deputy Min­is­ter An­drea Lyon, also aimed to fur­ther pitch par­tic­u­lar agri­cul­tural pro­duces, es­pe­cially the Canola oil.

Dur­ing a speech in Chongqing last week, Lyon high­lighted the strengths of Canada’s agri­cul­ture sec­tor, and Canada’s com­mit­ment to serv­ing the needs of the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Chen Xiao­hua, vice-min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, said in a meet­ing with Lyon in Bei­jing on June 17 that China is will­ing to deepen the co­op­er­a­tion with Canada in the agri­cul­tural tech­nolo­gies, and push for­ward the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the sec­tor.

The au­thor­ity is also will­ing to push for­ward the bi­lat­eral agri­cul­tural in­vest­ments, and to help ex­pand the agri­cul­tural trade, Chen was quoted as say­ing in a state­ment re­leased by the min­istry.

One of the ma­jor hur­dles to over­come as the two coun­tries seek to ex­pand on the agri­cul­tural trade is the is­sue of GM foods prod­ucts.

Yar­row said he be­lieved the un­der­stand­ing of agri­cul­tural reg­u­la­tory sys­tem of both coun­tries is im­por­tant as the two coun­tries looks to ex­pand on agri­cul­tural trade.

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