Oct. 3, 2016
Chinese and US enterprises have one-on-one matchmaking meetings during the America-Shandong Agricultural Trade Counterparts Conference at Westin Hotel in New York on Tuesday.
The Chinese government and people from all walks of life are doing their best to ensure food security.
A delegation of about 80 professionals from more than 40 agricultural-products importing and exporting businesses, as well as retail firms and cross-border electric business enterprises in East China's Shandong province visited the US from Sept 24 to 28, to promote agricultural trade.
As one of China's most important agricultural producers, exporters and consumer provinces, Shandong is the first province to move forward with construction of agricultural product security demonstration sites.
A food-safety system has been considered a vital component to promoting the development of international agriculture trade, which has been the focus of the provincial government since 2007, according to Lyu Wei, deputy director general of the Department of Commerce.
"The number of exportation agricultural-product security-demonstration sites in Shandong has reached 92, almost over all counties, districts and cities in the province, and the products produced in the demonstration sites account for 99 percent of total exported agricultural products," Lyu said at the America-Shandong Agricultural Trade Counterparts Conference at the Westin Hotel in New York on Tuesday.
"We hope that the US side can get to know the efforts of not only the Chinese government but also all walks of life for foods safety," Zhou Shanqing, commercial counselor of the Chinese Consulate General in New York.
"We are confident about it," he added.
Located at in the eastern coastal region and the lower reaches of the Yellow River, Shandong covers 157,900 square kilometers and has a population of more than 94 million in 17 cities.
In 2015, the province's GDP reached 6.3 trillion RMB (about $1 trillion), ranking it third in China. Its gross imports and exports reached $241.75 billion, of which $144.06 billion comes from exports and $87.69 billion from imports.
Shandong is the largest trade volume of agricultural products in China. In 2015, its gross agricultural imports and exports reached $31.37 billion accounting for 16.9 percent of the national agricultural trades and ranking first in China, of which $15.31 billion are from exports, accounting for 21.8 percent and being first for 17 consecutive years.
For the first seven months of this year, the total volume of China's agriculture-product imports and exports reached $102.3 billion, of which export was $39.8 billion, and import was $62.4 billion, according to Yu Lu, deputy director of China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce in Beijing.
"Basically, China has a surplus in the overall trade between China and US, but has a deficit in agriculture product trade," she said.
Zhou said that according to the US Department of Agriculture, China is the third-largest agriculture product-trading nation of the US. Last year, the annual export of agricultural products from the US to China reached a high of $25.86 billion, with imports hitting $4.53 billion.
On Sept 21, Premier Li Keqiang said he would soon allow imports of US beef at the banquet held jointly by the Economic Club of New York and the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR) and the National Council for US-China Trade.
"That means American beef will be appearing on the dinner tables of Chinese family soon," Zhou said.
Yuqin (Shirley) Xu, international sales manager of Roland Foods LLC in New York, attended the event, looking for food-product suppliers for five-star hotels with importing rights.
"I talked with some matching companies, and I'm interested in some of them. I hope there could be more events like this in the future," she said.