China to further open up agricultural markets

China announces it will work with other countries to reduce trade barriers and share new farming techniques.

China will further open up its markets to overseas agricultural businesses by slashing trade barriers and promoting technological exchanges, an official said on 22 October.

Xie Jianmin, a Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs official who oversees international co-operation, said China will continue to make trade easier with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, offering shortcuts for the express import of fresh produce and hosting of fairs and exhibitions.

He promised to roll out a consultation system to facilitate exchanges of farm technologies in key areas, and step up technological assistance for developing countries to bolster their production capacities.

“We’ll work with other countries to reduce trade barriers, and to establish stable and reliable partnerships and a free and convenient business environment,” he said, while speaking at the 3rd International Agricultural Research Conference, which opened on 22 October in Beijing.

The moves came as China looks overseas for quality farm produce to boost domestic supply, and for new technologies to modernise its agricultural sector that feeds nearly one-fifth of the world’s population with only 10 per cent of the global arable land.

It also came against the backdrop of an African swine fever outbreak in recent years that has reduced the production of the food staple for Chinese customers.

Xie said globalisation is irreversible, and China’s development entails high levels of co-operation and opening-up. “China has one of the most open agricultural markets and has been continuing to lower the threshold for entrance and optimising the business environment,” Xie said.

China has seen a marked increase in agricultural trade volume, reaching $216.8bn last year, a year-on-year increase of 7.7 per cent, he said.

Source: China Daily