Shandong promotes its foods to the world
Li Jing has found something new on her first visit to the US.
She had no idea that there is a large demand for Chinese sauce and dressing from the Chinese/Asian markets in the US until she came to the US. And she has found potential American business partners.
Li, president of Shandong Jingrong Foodstuff Co Ltd, is a member of a delegation of about 80 professionals from over 40 agricultural products import and export businesses, as well as retail firms and cross-border electric business enterprises in East China’s Shandong province.
The group visited the US this week to promote agricultural trade.
At the America-Shandong Agricultural Trade Counterparts Conference in New York on Tuesday, business people like Li had opportunities to talk to their American counterparts.
“Today’s talk is very efficient, several US companies showed interests to our products,” said Li.
Yuqin (Shirley) Xu, international sales manager of Roland Foods LLC in New York, looked for food-product suppliers for five-star hotels with importing rights at the event.
“I talked with some matching companies, and I’m interested in some of them. I hope there could be more events like this in the future,” Xu said.
Besides connecting Chinese and American businesses, the delegation also wants the US market to know Shandong province’s progress in building food safety system.
As one of China’s most important agricultural producers, exporters and consumer provinces, Shandong is the first province to move forward with construction of agricultural product security demonstration sites.
A food-safety system has been considered a vital component to promoting the development of international agriculture trade, which has been the focus of the provincial government since 2007, according to Lyu Wei, deputy director general of the Department of Commerce.
“The number of exportation agricultural-product security-demonstration sites in Shandong has reached 92, almost over all counties, districts and cities in the province, and the products produced in the demonstration sites account for 99 percent of total exported agricultural products,” Lyu said at conference.
“We hope that the US side can get to know the efforts of not only the Chinese government but also all walks of life for foods safety,” Zhou Shanqing, commercial counselor of the Chinese Consulate General in New York. “We are confident about it.”
Shandong is the largest trade volume of agricultural products in China. In 2015, its gross agricultural imports and exports reached $31.37 billion accounting for 16.9 percent of the national agricultural trades and ranking first in China.
For the first seven months of this year, the total volume of China’s agriculture-product imports and exports reached $102.3 billion, of which export was $39.8 billion, and import was $62.4 billion, according to Yu Lu, deputy director of China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce in Beijing.
“Basically, China has a surplus in the overall trade between China and US, but has a deficit in agriculture product trade,” she said.
Zhou said that according to the US Department of Agriculture, China is the third-largest agriculture product-trading nation of the US. Last year, the annual export of agricultural products from the US to China reached a high of $25.86 billion, with imports hitting $4.53 billion.
On Sept 21, Premier Li Keqiang said he would soon allow imports of US beef at the banquet held jointly by the Economic Club of New York and the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR) and the National Council for US-China Trade.
“That means American beef will be appearing on the dinner tables of Chinese family soon,” Zhou said.
Chinese and US enterprises have one-on-one matchmaking meetings during the America-Shandong Agricultural Trade Counterparts Conference at Westin Hotel in New York on Tuesday.