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Židan receives Chinese Minister and President of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Bled, Ljubljana, 24 August 2017 - The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Dejan Židan, today received the Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Han Changfu, and his delegation. The purpose of the bilateral meeting between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and the People's Republic of China is to further strengthen cooperation with the People's Republic of China in the political and particularly economic areas. "China is an important partner for Slovenia; exports to China have increased by almost 84 percent in comparison to 2015; this is an optimistic result which will be further improved by hard work and such meetings at the highest level", said Dejan Židan on the sidelines of the meeting. Minister Židan today also met with the President of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, the Minister of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, Tarmo Tamm.

The Chinese Minister, Han Changfu, arrived in Slovenia as part of implementing the 2016 initiative (as agreed during the visit of Minister Židan to China in November 2016) to organise a meeting of agriculture ministers of the People's Republic of China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the 12th Agro-Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, in Slovenia this year. During their talks, the ministers highlighted the excellent relations between the two countries in recent years; today's meeting is already their fourth meeting, the last one taking place in China in May this year. Židan particularly stressed increased economic cooperation between the two countries, with exports of Slovenian products to the People's Republic of China increasing by almost 84 percent in comparison to 2015, while the value of Slovenia-China trade in goods exceeded EUR 1 billion in 2016. In their talks they highlighted Slovenia's final activities regarding the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day at the United Nations, where the Chinese Minister reiterated China's support for this project, including in the UN General Assembly vote in New York in December this year. Židan informed his Chinese counterpart of the visit of Chinese inspectors, who are paying a visit to Slovenia to conclude the procedures regarding approval of the export of honey and honey products to China. Additionally, the Minister expressed pleasure and thanks to the Chinese Minister for concluding the procedure for obtaining a permit for the export of canned fish to China so soon. The Chinese Minister commended Slovenia for organising the 12th forum, and is looking forward to the two-day political and economic meeting which will open new possibilities of cooperation and generate new opportunities. Minister Židan thanked the Chinese guest for the active cooperation of the People's Republic of China in this year's AGRA Fair, in which China is acting as a partner country. "I am convinced that this is an opportunity for the Slovenian market to learn more about Chinese products and to increase business contacts between Slovenian and Chinese partners", said Židan. On the sidelines of the bilateral meeting, the Chinese Minister visited the tourist attractions of Bled, which has been breaking tourism records and has become increasingly attractive for Chinese tourists. The Ministers visited local beekeeper Blaž Ambrožič, who impressed the Chinese Minister with his innovativeness and presentation of Slovenian beekeeping. This was followed by a visit to Bled Castle where the Chinese guest was received by the Mayor of Bled.


Late in the afternoon, Minister Židan also met the President of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, the Minister of Rural Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, Tarmo Tamm. They exchanged the views of the two countries on practices in agriculture. They touched upon topical subjects in agriculture such as fairness in the food chain, the impact of climate change and natural disasters in agriculture, as well as the scandal involving the presence of fipronil in eggs and egg products in certain EU Member States. The President of the EU Council presented positions and views on the next CAP reform after 2020. Upon his arrival in Slovenia, Minister Tarmo, accompanied by State Secretary Tanja Strniša visited the Franc Logar organic farm in Vodice where they were kindly received by the local Rural Women's Association and Pensioners Choir. The Estonian Minister took the opportunity to point out that the Slovenian countryside maintains its genuine friendly rural side and connection between people.