Ex­ten­sive Cana­dian agri­cul­tural del­e­ga­tion vis­its Chongqing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By DENG RUI in Bei­jing den­grui@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Canada’s agri­cul­ture and agri-food deputy min­is­ter led an agri­cul­tural del­e­ga­tion of 67 in­di­vid­u­als to Chongqing on June 15. On the same day, as part of a broader agri­cul­tural trade mis­sion to South­west China, the min­is­ter, An­drea Lyon, show­cased Cana­dian food prod­ucts to Chongqing food buy­ers.

The event was held at the Ex­port Café, and fea­tured Cana­dian agri-food, seafood, bev­er­ages, and other agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties.

Lyon high­lighted the strengths of Canada’s agri­cul­ture sec­tor and Canada’s com­mit­ment to serv­ing the needs of the Chi­nese mar­ket as a re­li­able part­ner and source.

This year marks the 45th an­niver­sary of Canada-China diplo­matic re­la­tions. The del­e­ga­tion in­cluded 61 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 35 Cana­dian com­pa­nies and in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions, and five pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments. It was the most ex­ten­sive Cana­dian agri­cul­tural del­e­ga­tion to visit Chongqing so far. The busi­ness del­e­gates have had fruit­ful meet­ings with Chi­nese food buy­ers, and dis­cussed pos­si­ble busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties re­lated to var­i­ous Cana­dian prod­ucts.

Keith Col­well, agri­cul­ture min­is­ter of Nova Sco­tia, said: “We’ve been deal­ing with Bei­jing and Shang­hai for years, and this is the first time we’ve been here. We very much hope to build strong and long-last­ing re­la­tion­ships with Chongqing as time moves for­ward, and to pro­vide our fine ex­otic cold-wa­ter scal­lops, shrimp, lob­sters, snow crab and blue­ber­ries.”

Another high­light of the event was Canada’s canola oil, which is lower in sat­u­rated fat than com­mon cook­ing oils and free of trans fat and choles­terol.

“Given the preva­lence of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and di­a­betes in China and con­sumers’ sig­nif­i­cant use of cook­ing oil, canola oil is the ideal choice as an ev­ery­day sta­ple,” said Liu Na, se­nior nutri­tion ex­pert in Bei­jing.

It is said that China is the num­ber one con­sumer of veg­etable oil in the world (31 mil­lion tonnes a year) and its num­ber two im­porter (11 mil­lion tonnes a year). Canada is the pri­mary sup­plier of canola to China, ex­port­ing 4.3 mil­lion tonnes of canola seed and a half mil­lion tonnes of oil in 2014.

In 2014, Canada ranked as the world’s fifth-largest agri­cul­ture and agri-food ex­porter. The coun­try ex­ported some 45 per­cent of its do­mes­tic food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts to more than 200 coun­tries across the globe. Key ex­ports in­clude high-qual­ity grains, oilseeds, pulses, meat prod­ucts, high­qual­ity fish and seafood, ta­ble wines and ice wines. Canada is one of the world’s top-10 beef pro­duc­ers and ex­porters and the third-largest ex­porter of pork in the world.

Sta­tis­tics also show China is Canada’s sec­ond largest mar­ket for its agri­cul­ture, agri-food, seafood and bev­er­age prod­ucts. In 2014, this trade was val­ued at some CAD 5.3 bil­lion or about RMB 26 bil­lion.

For South­west China, some of the key Cana­dian ex­ports to the re­gion in­clude canola oil, meal, bar­ley, live pigs, ge­netic prod­ucts, pork, pork by-prod­ucts, seafood, gin­seng and other health prod­ucts and wine.

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