Belfast Telegraph

O’Neill outlines key objectives for return visit to China

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill will travel to China this weekend to support applications for the export of pork to China and to champion the north’s agri-food industry.

Before she left for China the Minister said: “China is expected to become the world’s leading consumer of pigmeat on a per capita basis, surpassing the European Union by 2022. I am committed to helping our pork industry gain a market share of this lucrative market and I am happy to meet Chinese officials in Beijing to progress these negotiations on behalf of our pork processors and coldstores.”

As part of the visit, the Minister has been invited by Senior Chinese Government officials to deliver a keynote address at the 4th Sino-European Agricultural Conference next week. This major international conference will be attended by key Chinese government officials and academics from the agriculture sector as well as delegates from across a number of European States. She said: “I am honoured to be invited to share the story of the north of Ireland’s global reputation for safe, traceable and wholesome food at this prestigious conference in Ningxia. I welcome this opportunity to exchange views, information and to educate each other for our mutual benefit.”

While in China, the Minister will also continue to build on the relationships made during her visits to Beijing and Shanghai in 2012 to foster gain for the agri-food industry here.

“China has 19% of the world’s population and I recognise its importance to world markets and the opportunities for our agri-food industry. I am committed to helping our industry grow this important export market.”

Notes to editors:

1. Minister O’Neill will visit China from 23-27 September 2013.

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