Agricultural cooperation brought to a new level
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Monday 11 June 2012
The European Union and China have agreed to boost cooperation in agriculture and rural development by signing a cooperation plan, on 11 June in Beijing. Under this new plan, both sides are showing their commitment to tackle international and bilateral challenges “more effectively”.
“This cooperation plan is a new step in our commitment to work together to address common challenges – in particular in food security, rural development, food safety and climate change,” Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said. “We can meet these challenges by establishing a stronger and closer relationship in agriculture, at bilateral and international levels, through concrete cooperation projects and actions,” he explained. Other sectors for cooperation should also include environmentally-friendly agriculture and organic farming.
According to the European Commission, the cooperation plan is expected to bring “new impetus” to the EU-China partnership by building on established relations.
For his part, Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said that with concerted efforts, “agricultural cooperation between China and the European Union will surely realise mutual benefits, win-win results and common development”.
The EU-China dialogue on agriculture was established in 2005, and several pilot projects have been launched since – such as the task force on agriculture and food biotechnology – with the aim of promoting bilateral cooperation. The EU is currently the third largest export market of agricultural products for China and the fifth largest source of imports for Chinese markets, with trade in agricultural products worth over €7 billion in 2010.