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Minister Ritz Attends APEC Meeting, Concludes Successful Mission to China and India

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today completed a successful mission to China and India where he strengthened Canada’s long-term mutually-beneficial relationships and developed partnerships that will help build prosperous and sustainable futures for each country’s farms and agriculture industries.
Minister Ritz met with China’s Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to secure permanent access for Canadian live cattle valued by industry at $150 million annually once fully implemented.  This is building upon China’s earlier commitment to grant access for Canadian Under Thirty Month bone-in beef valued by industry at $140 million annually. Ongoing work with China is anticipated to result in access for fresh Canadian cherries, valued by industry at $20 million annually, and for Canadian blueberries, valued by industry at up to $65 million annually once fully implemented.
In China, he delivered a speech at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in Beijing. In his speech, he advocated the importance of open trade and strong cooperation on biotechnology, including resolving the issue of low-level presence of genetically-modified content in shipments for export, to increase food production and availability.  
On the margins of the APEC forum, Minister Ritz announced that Canada has signed a new organic equivalency arrangement with Japan. Coming into effect January 1, 2015, the arrangement recognizes the organic production and certification systems in each country, making it easier to sell organic products in either country presenting new opportunities for Canadian producers and processors.  Industry estimates that this arrangement will enable Canadian organics exports to Japan to reach $20 million annually within the next five years. He also took the opportunity to meet with Malaysia’s Agriculture Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Indonesia’s Agriculture Minister Suswono to discuss market access priorities.
In India, Minister Ritz met for the first time with newly-elected ministers, including Minister of Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh to establish working relationships and strengthen Canada’s position as a key partner in India’s modernization of its agriculture sector. Minister Ritz met with Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman to emphasize the importance of ambitious outcomes on agriculture in the Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.
Minister Ritz met for the first time with India’s Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, as well as with India’s Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan to press for the identification of high-quality Canadian canola oil on consumer labels and to promote Canadian pulses and Canadian capabilities in grain handling, logistics and storage systems. Minister Ritz also met with Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of the Punjab Cabinet.
As a result of the Minister’s ongoing collaboration with India, agreement has been reached securing market access for Canadian bulls to India for breeding purposes. This access will provide an industry estimated $9.6 million in new export opportunities over the next three years for Canadian cattle producers, while increasing the genetic quality of India’s herd.
Quick Facts
• Since 2006 agriculture and seafood exports to China have increased more than fivefold to total $5.6 billion annually, making China the 2nd most valuable market for Canadian agricultural exports.
• Total two-way agri-food and seafood trade with India reached $1.16 billion in 2013, including $726 million in Canadian pulse exports.
• Total Canadian agriculture and food exports to China and India reached $6.4 billion in 2013, an increase of 70% over the past three years.
• Total two-way agriculture and food trade between Canada and APEC economies grew from US $52.8 billion in 2010 to US $66.98 billion in 2012, an increase of 26.8%.
“One of the ways our Government continues to create jobs with new opportunities for Canadian businesses is by opening new markets around the world, including the fast growing Asia-Pacific region. This mission has strengthened Canada’s agricultural trading relationship with both China and India, two of the world’s largest emerging economies.  We will continue to work to expand and improve market access around the globe for Canada’s agriculture sector while in turn creating quality jobs for hard working Canadians back at home.”
Source: AAFC

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