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Special attention paid to Slovenia at the international agriculture fair in China

Kunming, 4 November – At China's invitation Slovenia participates in Kunming at the most important international agriculture fair in the region. The greatest interest is being paid to honey and honey products, owing to their appreciation of Slovenia's specific knowledge about beekeeping. This year, Slovenia is also being presented as a dairy producer and as a wine destination.

(Report by special rapporteur Martina Kolenc, Slovenian Press Agency (STA)


Chinese Deputy Agricultural Minister Qu Dongyu knows Slovenia mainly as a land of honey. "We are interested, in particular, in high-quality honey products, which are, as a food supplement, highly appreciated in China," he told the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) on the margins of the presentation of Chinese agricultural products. He is interested in Slovenian beekeeping knowledge and technology.


At a special exhibition stand at the fair, which is to be officially opened on Sunday, high-quality Slovenian wines and Slovenian milk and milk products will be presented to the expert public. "These are the two areas where we expect quick growth in exports.  We anticipate the first results within a 3-year period," emphasised the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Dejan Židan. At a special presentation of the most important agricultural products of the central Chinse provinces he described the Slovenian method of honey production to Chinese guests, who have considerable appreciation for sustainably produced food, too.


In his address, the Minister emphasised that Slovenia is a jewel in the middle of Europe, known for its bees, beekeeping and vast knowledge in this area.  The Minister thanked China for its support in the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day. At the same time, he invited his hosts to visit and taste the Slovenian wines and milk products presented in the Slovenian pavilion.


This year in Kunming, the Chinese provinces presented their main agricultural products such as rice, tomato, apples, pears, seafood, tea, dates and bananas. The agriculture minister of China, Han Changfu said that the Ministry will seek a market for its products and that the promotion at the Kunming fair is an ideal opportunity for this.


"It is difficult for food products to enter the Chinese market due to the different standards we have in the food industry. Certain countries wait for their first export permit as long as 10 years. Slovenia succeeded in obtaining an export permit for milk within three years, which is a sign of a good cooperation," said Minister Židan, who is pleased that the first test sales in the Chinese market are already in progress. The Ljubljanske mlekarne dairy has already successfully exported the first container of milk and the Pomurske mlekarne dairy expects to conclude the first contracts in the next year.


In this context Minister Židan stressed that the main objective of exporting to China is to make higher profits, and since these projects are extremely demanding, they should bring good business results. "There are ambitious Slovenian wine cellars at the fair this year that examined the market for a long time. This year, they will be present at two fairs, one here in Kunming and one in Hong Kong," mentioned the Minister.


During his visit, Minister Židan will return to Beijing, where he will meet with the management of the administration issuing the food import permits. "The objective is to accelerate the import procedures for canned fish and also for honey, honey products, and meat and meat products," added Minister Židan. 


Today, Minister Židan started a several-day visit to China, accompanied with a political and economic delegation. The Minister wants his visit to promote economic and other cooperation between the two states in the agriculture, food and forestry industries.


On Saturday and Sunday, at the invitation of his counterpart Han, he will attend the China International Agricultural Trade Fair - (CATF) and the beginning of the 11th Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum between China and Central Eastern European Countries  in Kunming. On this occasion a meeting will be held between representatives working within the framework of the association for promotion of agricultural cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern.


On Monday and Tuesday the Minister, accompanied with the political delegation, will continue his visit with discussions in Beijing. There he will meet the management of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People's Republic of China  and the management of the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of the People's Republic of China.


On Wednesday and Thursday Minister Židan will continue his visit in Hong Kong, where he will meet with the Governor of the Hong Kong Province and attend the opening of the International Wine and Spirits Fair, one of the largest and most important fairs promoting wine, alcoholic beverages and food products in Asia. This fair is intended, in particular, to the expert public and sales activities. The Republic of Slovenia will be present at this fair for the first time and will have the special status of a state guest.


The economic delegation of Slovenia will be represented by 16 wine growers and, additionally, the Berryshka company and the Kocbek Oil Mill.


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