Hogan hopes to ‘make progress on hindrances’ to EU trade in China this week

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, is visiting China and Japan this week with a business delegation of more than 60 European agri-food executives to promote EU agri-food products.

The Commissioner has said that he hopes he can also make some progress on a number of hindrances to current trade.

Speaking before setting off on his journey, the Commissioner said that China and Japan are particularly important markets for the EU agri-food sector which have shown considerable growth in recent years.

“I hope that these promotion events will highlight the quality, traditions, and added value of our products, as well as our food safety and traceability guarantees, and stimulate further interest from Chinese and Japanese consumers in European food and drink.”

I look forward to building on our existing trade flows and showing that Europe is open to business, in particular for agri-food products.

The Commissioner’s programme foresees meetings with China’s and Japan’s ministers in charge of agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, as well as trade.

He will also be launching a “European restaurant week” event in Beijing and Tokyo, opening business-to-business meetings, and visiting a number of retailers/markets, as well as field trips to local producers.

The visit will end in Niigata, Japan for the G7 meeting of agriculture ministers, the Commission confirmed.

In addition to the Commissioner’s programme, the representatives in the business delegation will hold several business meetings on site.

According to the Commission, Bord Bia and Glanbia will have delegates in China on the trip, while Ornua will be going to Japan.

Earlier this year, Commissioner Hogan led a similar high-level visit to Colombia and Mexico and a further journey to Vietnam and Indonesia is planned in the second half of 2016.

In 2016, over €100m from the EU budget is available to promote EU agri-food products in third countries and promote consumption outside and inside the EU.

China (Shanghai and Beijing) is the first stop for the delegation from April 16 to 20 and it will then continue on to Japan (Tokyo) between April 20 and 22.