New Zealand FM to dis­cuss meat, dairy is­sues on visit

Mccully seeks to re­as­sure Chi­nese cus­tomers and ce­ment re­la­tion­ship

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES

New Zealand For­eign Min­is­ter Mur­ray McCully will visit China this week to up­date au­thor­i­ties on the re­sponse to re­cent meat and dairy is­sues.

In a state­ment re­leased on Sun­day, McCully said he will at­tend a se­ries of bi­lat­eral meet­ings in China, adding that his visit had been “planned for some time”.

In China, McCully will meet with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part Wang Yi and State Coun­cil­lor Yang Jiechi to dis­cuss a wide range of is­sues.

Ear­lier this month, China banned im­port of milk pow­der from New Zealand af­ter its lead­ing dairy com­pany, Fon­terra, found a type of bac­te­ria that can cause bot­u­lism in some of its prod­ucts in seven coun­tries, in­clud­ing China.

China has im­por ted 371,000 met­ric tons of raw milk pow­der from New Zealand in the first half of this year, ac­count­ing for ap­prox­i­mately 83 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal milk pow­der im­ports, ac­cord­ing to the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms.

It has been re­ported that Fon­terra, the world’s big­gest dairy ex­porter, de­tected the pres­ence of toxic bac­te­ria in milk prod­ucts early in March, but its an­nounce­ment came six months later.

“Our re­la­tion­ship with China is much broader than trade. We are work­ing closely to­gether on a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing in the Pa­cific, where China is an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant player,” McCully said.

“Te Mato Vai, the NZ$ 60 mil­lion ($ 48.62 mil­lion) wa­ter part­ner­ship be­tween New Zealand, China and the Cook Is­lands, is the first of its kind and a blue­print for fu­ture de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion in the re­gion,” he added.

McCully will also make his first visit to Mon­go­lia, where he will meet with Pres­i­dent El­beg­dorj Tsakhia and For­eign Min­is­ter Bold Lu­vsan­van­dan to dis­cuss pos­si­ble co­op­er­a­tion in agri­cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion.

In Hong Kong, New Zealand’s for­eign min­is­ter will meet with lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

In an ear­lier de­vel­op­ment, New Zealand Prime Min­is­ter John Key said on Tues­day that he will pay a visit to China later this year to ex­tend a per­sonal apol­ogy to Chi­nese con­sumers over the milk scare.

He said an apol­ogy is im­por­tant to restore trust in New Zealand’s food prod­ucts af­ter global re­calls of his coun­try’s dairy prod­ucts.

He said it was un­usual for the leader of a na­tion to apol­o­gize on be­half of a com­pany, but Fon­terra’s rep­u­ta­tion was in­ex­tri­ca­bly tied to that of New Zealand.

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