Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik visited China on 4-8 November to take part of the Second China International Import Expo and meet with the Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC).
“I have met with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China several times and each time he has stressed that Estonia’s high-quality products are very welcome to the Chinese market,” Minister Järvik said. “Over the years, we have also signed several food safety protocols, which have ensured us access to the Chinese market. All of this creates an excellent background and gives entrepreneurs a positive signal to fulfil their export potential, especially in a situation where the traditional market is unavailable due to trade policy sanctions,” the Minister added.
On 5 November, Minister Mart Järvik took part of the opening ceremony of China’s biggest international fair China International Import Expo, which was opened by the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping. As part of the Hongqiao Global E-Commerce Forum, Minister Järvik also participated at the session “E-commerce in the Digital Era: New Platform and New Vision”.
On 6 November, Minister Järvik met with the Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs of China, Mr Li Guo, to discuss unsolved questions and future cooperation. Minister Järvik focused on the most important topics, where Estonia would like to move forward. “We wish to expand the list of authorised products in the Chinese market. That is why we have begun negotiations for the export of beef and cod,” he said. “We will send the questionnaire on beef to the Chinese authorities by the beginning of next year. For cod, we wish to receive authorisation in a simplified procedure. We hope that we will quickly be able to register businesses interested in poultry export, as we have already reached an agreement there,” Minister Järvik added.
Representatives of the GACC assured that the cod protocol is soon ready for signing and that they will give their feedback on the registration of businesses for poultry export in the near future.
“Estonian businesses and food producers are still very much interested in the Chinese market, Mart Järvik said. “I am accompanied at the Import Expo by a business delegation with representatives from the Estonian food and drinks sector, who all hope to find cooperation partners and open their export to the Chinese market.”
On 7 November, Minister Järvik, together with a business delegation, visited Scandic Foods Asia, which is active in selling and promoting Scandinavian products in Asia. In the evening, the Minister hosted a reception to introduce Estonian food and culture.
Export of Estonian agricultural and food products has increased in recent years. During the first 8 months of 2019, businesses have exported 6 million euros worth of Estonian products to China. This is an increase of 28% compared to the same period last year.
The Minister of Rural Affairs was accompanied by a business delegation with representatives of Estonian food industry enterprises. A joint stand at the China International Import Expo was organised by Enterprise Estonia. Estonia was represented at the expo by Saku Brewery, Haage Drinks, EBM Group, Tanker Brewery and Ecotar.