China, Canada deepen farm trade
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.