UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss will visit China this week to boost food and drink trade links between the two countries.
During the four-day visit, the Secretary of State will meet counterparts from five Chinese departments or ministries. These include the Ministry of Water Resources; Ministry of Agriculture; General Administration of Quality Supervision; Inspection and Certification and Accreditation Administration; Ministry of Environmental Protection and the State Forestry Administration to step up exchanges in the areas of Food and the Environment and explore the opportunities for wider co-operation and two-way business opportunities in agriculture and sustainable food production.
In addition, the Secretary of State will visit a number of high-profile British and Chinese retail businesses, traditional or online, in both Beijing and Shanghai, to promote trade opportunities across the UK with particular focus on the food and drinks sector.
To start her visit to China, the Secretary of State said:
“I am delighted to visit China, a key global economic partner for the UK. This year we overtook France to become the 2nd biggest European exporter to China, and we are by far the most popular major European destination for Chinese investment.
“UK exports of food and drink to China have more than doubled in the past five years. I’m happy to see such a big increase in the sector, but believe we’re just at the start. I’m keen not only to see even more trade in food and drink products between China and the UK, but also to build real collaboration in areas that are complementary to our two economies - areas in which we can exchange knowledge and expertise, such as agri-technology, skills and innovation, and food security.”
During her visit, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will sign a MoU with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China to strengthen links and boost bilateral trade in the organic sector and for online grocery sales as part of UKTI’s e-exporting programme. Both sides will work together to accelerate the EU-China negotiations on equivalence, and to identify trading opportunities.
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