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Minister Han Changfu attends 3rd Meeting of China-CEEC Ministers of Agriculture
Date:2018-05-31    Source:MARA

On May 25, the Third Meeting of China-CEEC (16+1) Ministers of Agriculture was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. Minister Han Changfu, along with high-level delegations from 16 central and eastern Europe countries (CEEC) including Lithuania and Estonia attended the meeting.

 

Under the theme of “Smart Agriculture-An Innovative Solution to Ensure Food Security and Safety”, the meeting approved the Vilnius Joint Declaration of China-CEEC Ministers of Agriculturehereinafter referred to as the Joint Declarationand mapped out the “16+1” plan for promoting food security and safety. According to the Joint Declaration, in recent years, the Belt and Road Initiative has been effectively synthesized with the Investment Plan for Europe  and development plans for the CEECs, and brought significant opportunities for future “16+1” agricultural cooperation.

 

The meeting included numbers of events like the 13th “16+1”China-CEEC Agro-trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, the 22nd Baltic International Agriculture and Food Industry Expo and the High-level Political Forum on Food Losses and Wastes. Lithuania also hosted the concurrent event of EU Food Losses and Wastes Platform Conference, which closely linked the “16+1” agricultural cooperation mechanism and the EU agricultural cooperation platform, and highlighted the openness and inclusiveness of the “16+1” cooperation.

 

In his speech, Minister Han Changfu briefly reviewed the development of the "16+1" agricultural cooperation mechanism. Since its establishment in 2006, the cooperation mechanism has witnessed constant improvement, including innovative approaches, tangible results and broad influence. These achievements suggest that China and CEECs have laid a political foundation of mutual trust, observed the principle of mutual openness, and forged ahead towards the goal of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.  

 

Minister Han briefly introduced China’s experience of developing smart agriculture. China’s incentive measures included agricultural IOT pilot project, access of information technologies to villages and mobile phone application training for farmers. At the end of 2017, the annual retail sales via China's rural network exceeded 1.2 trillion yuan, and the annual e-commerce trade volume of agricultural products was escalating towards 300 billion yuan. Broadband and 4G communication service covered 88% villages, and rural mobile phone users exceeded 500 million.

 

Minister Han put forward four suggestions for deepening the "16+1" agricultural cooperation. First, the annual "16+1" agricultural cooperation mechanism should be carried forward and the China-CEEC Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation should continue its role. Second, circulation channels for agricultural products need to be improved and investment cooperation in the entire agricultural industry chain should be encouraged. Third, a sound agricultural science and technology information cooperation mechanism should be set up, and joint laboratories and science and technology cooperation centers should be established. The fourth is to make a review of successful experience in agricultural and rural development, and draw upon strength from programs of both China and CEECs. 

 

During his visit, Minister Han also attended the 13th China-CEEC Agro-trade and Economic Cooperation Forum and made a keynote speech. He visited the Baltic International Agriculture and Food Industry Expo with the companion of Speaker of Lithuanian Parliament and Minister of Agriculture. Moreover, Minister Han held talks with Director-General of FAO, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and Ministers of Agriculture in Albania, Estonia and Lithuania.

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