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Slovenia to organize Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum 16+1 in 2017

Kunming, 5 November 2016 – The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan, at the invitation of the Agricultural Minister of the People's Republic of China, Han Changfu, attends the 11th Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum between China and Central Eastern European Countries. After discussion with China and the members of this Forum, Slovenia will assume organisation of this event next year. "A success in receiving the organisation of such a great event is great, since this means an increased recognisability and a business opportunity for Slovenia," stressed the Minister. Before the Forum started the China International Agricultural Trade Fair (CATF) was opened, where Slovenia with wine producers and certain food products was presented.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dejan Židan, at the invitation of the Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Han Changfu, attends the 11th Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum between China and Central Eastern European Countries. In his address, Minister Židan highlighted that China is the most important Asian trading partner of Slovenia and other Central and Eastern European countries, whereas, within the 16+1 platform, Slovenia is an important trading partner of China. "Slovenian agriculture has many measures and activities aimed towards the green economy and one of these activities is also the initiative to proclaim 20 May World Bee Day. According to the Minister the initiative is oriented towards care for sustainable food production, environmental protection and the preservation of biotic diversity, which are sustainable development goals that were adopted at the United Nations' level under the 2030 Agenda. A meeting to mark the occasion is being held among the representatives working within the association for the promotion of agricultural cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe is held.

 

On the margins of the Forum, Minister Židan had a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Han Changfu. In their discussion they confirmed the excellent relationship between the two states, in particular, in agriculture. They touched upon the organization of the next Forum, for which Slovenia today received support from China and all the Forum's Member States, which was also adopted under a special final declaration. Their discussion highlighted the importance of bees and Slovenia’s initiative to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. According to Chinese Minister Han Changfu bees and beekeeping are of utmost importance for their state, too. The two Ministers agreed on the intensification and exchange of knowledge in this area and in the future experts from the two countries will accordingly establish contacts. The Chinese Minister invited Slovenia to bring its interactive pavilion on World Bee Day to the National Bee Museum in Beijing.

 

Minister Židan also met with the Macedonian Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Water Economy, Mihail Cvetkov. In their discussion the two interlocutors highlighted the agricultural issues important to the two countries, among other things, the cooperation in the wine market. In particular, they touched upon beekeeping in connection with which the two Ministers agreed on drafting a memorandum on cooperation in this area. They also agreed on cooperation regarding cattle breeding material. At the meeting between Minister Židan and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland, Krzysztof Jurgiel, the two Ministers highlighted the functioning of the Visegrád Group (V4+4) and Slovenia's participation in it. Poland expressed its expectation that next year, when Poland is to organise an event on the margins of its Presidency of this group, Slovenia would present its bases for and views on the current situation regarding the Common Agricultural Policy and its proposals for the new Common Agricultural Policy after 2020. Poland expressed its satisfaction over the fact that in the next year Slovenia would organise Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum  16+1 and the Polish Minister announced his participation.

 

Today the China International Agricultural Trade Fair (CATF) was opened, where Slovenia, as a guest, was presented with its wine producers and certain food products.  The Chinese Minister Han and the Vice Minister Qu Dongyu visited Slovenia's pavilion and tested Slovenian wines. According to Minister Židan, the participation in the Central agricultural fair in China is also an opportunity for the Slovenian companies. »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 the Minister mentioning, that the first test sales in the Chinese market were already in progress. "The main objective of exporting to China is to make higher profits; since these projects are extremely demanding, they should bring good business results," added Minister Židan.

 

 

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