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Oregon looks to enhance trade relations with China丨FOOD2CHINA
Post Time:2020-12-17Author:FOOD2CHINA

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How big is the Dungeness crab and can it be exported live to China? What tree seedlings are suitable for China's climate? What kind of meat products are eligible to go to China?

Chinese importers from Tianjin and Fujian showed great interest in Oregon's agricultural products at a recent online trade promotion meeting, where they raised questions and exchanged contact information with their US counterparts.

Thanks to the efforts of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco, more than 100 buyers and sellers as well as officials from both sides got together to explore agricultural trade opportunities.

"Oregon agriculture is diverse ... the micro climates provide ideal growing conditions for more than 225 crops that range from fisheries along the coast to the vast wheat fields and rangeland in the east," Alexis Taylor, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, said at the meeting.

The state is home to nearly all US hazelnut production and a leader in berries, nursery products, grasses, vegetable and cover crop seed, she added.

"We have enjoyed an extremely strong relationship between our state and the Chinese people, and we look forward to further exploring how Oregon agriculture and food production can match the interests of Chinese consumers, food manufacturers and food service companies," said Taylor.

The idea of hosting a trade promotion meeting originated with a letter from Oregon Governor Kate Brown to Chinese Consul General Wang Donghua in San Francisco in October, requesting expansion of Oregon agricultural exports to China.

"We both agree that at a time of rising challenges it is more important to work together for the common good. To the request for sales of Oregon agricultural products to China, the Chinese side has given great importance, and Tianjin and Fujian have given first priority," said Wang.

China is Oregon's largest trade partner and export destination. The trade volume between China and Oregon exceeded $9.2 billion last year, contributing to local jobs and revenue.

Trade, for the first nine months of this year, reached $8.25 billion, an increase of 5.4 percent year on year, while Oregon's exports to China amounted to $6.81 billion, up 26.3 percent, according to Wang.

"The cooperation has still huge potential to explore. China is the most promising market in the world, and with a population of 1.4 billion and middle-income group of over 400 million," said the consul general.

Last year, the value of China's domestic consumption exceeded $5.97 trillion. It is estimated that in the next 10 years, China' import of goods will exceed $22 trillion.

"A more mature and brisk domestic market will generate more opportunities for other countries," said Wang. "I hope China and Oregon will further explore the potential for cooperation and translate the potential into real benefits."

Oregon and Fujian province have been sister states since 1984. The state established a sister city/state relationship with Tianjin in 2014.

Despite the "challenges at the national level", Brian Clem, chair of the Agriculture and Land Use Committee in the Oregon House of Representatives, stressed the importance of subnational-level cooperation between the US and China.

"I just want to remind people that sometimes in the big family, the brothers and sisters argue, but in the end we're still family and we still got to find ways to work together," said Clem, who has visited China 29 times in the past decade.

"So consider us your friends and your family. Temporary disagreements are expected, and we'll work around them, and I look forward to a better future," he said.

Oregon state Senator Shemia Fagan also emphasized the "mutually beneficial relationship" based on her own experiences.

Growing up in "those very agricultural producing parts of this state", Fagan told the Chinese participants at the meeting that she was "an embodiment of the communities that you and your relationship help support here in Oregon".

"When you were enjoying those delicious products from Oregon, that mutually beneficial relationship is also supporting families and communities like mine," she said.

Source: Chinadaily

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