Minister Zhi Shuping visits Poland and Iceland: Small apple boosts the interconnection of the silk road and the amber road

  In conjunction with the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Poland,  AQSIQ Minister Zhi Shuping led a delegation to Poland and Iceland from June 18 to 25, 2016 at the invitation of his Polish and Icelandic counterparts, aiming to further the inspection and quarantine cooperation with the middle and east Europe and the north Europe.

      Poland, as a big country in the middle and east Europe and an important member of European Union, maintains good traditional friendship with China. Located in the intersection of Asia and Europe, Poland, as stated by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, is the crossroads of the amber road and the silk road. Xi Jinping remarked that China is willing to build strategic cooperation with Poland within the framework of the “silk and road initiative”, improve bilateral cooperation in various fields with more concrete yields, and to further the bilateral strategic partnership. The two leaders attached great importance to cooperation on the inspection and quarantine of food and agriculture products in bilateral trade, which was mentioned several times in their official meetings and conversations. At the ceremony on the first China-Europe block train under the family brand China Railway Express arriving in Poland/Europe, President Xi Jinping introduced Minister Zhi Shuping to Polish President Duda, and said “this is Minister of AQSIQ, the authority that supervises safety of import and export food and agriculture products”. At the ceremony, the Polish side designed a special program to formally introduce Polish apples which just obtained access to the Chinese market, in which President Xi listened to the introduction of its production and yields, and pleasantly tried an apple.

      While in Warsaw, Minister Zhi Shuping attended part of the program of President Xi, including the signing ceremony, the press conference, the welcoming dinner and the ceremony on China-Europe block train under the family brand China Railway Express arriving in Poland/Europe. Zhi Shuping met with the Polish Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Krzysztof Jurgiel, and conducted in-depth discussions on the establishment of bilateral SPS consultation mechanism, joint technical cooperation on animal quarantine and food safety, as well the inspection and quarantine requirements on the export of Polish apple, poultry, breeding poultry and breeding eggs. The two sides reached comprehensive consensus, and signed 5 cooperation documents, including the protocol on the phytosanitary requirements of apple to be exported from Poland to China, and the Memorandum of Cooperation on the control of undesirable substances in the poultry products to be exported from Poland to China. All the 5 protocols are included in the facts sheet of President Xi’s visit to Poland, of which 3 were signed at the witness of the two leaders. Besides, Zhi also met with the former Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, visited a dairy plant and was interviewed by the National Press Agency of Poland. Zhi Shuping remarked in the bilateral meeting that China-Poland inspection and quarantine cooperation is an important part of the overall bilateral relations, and an important force in facilitating the connection of the silk road and the amber road as well as the connection of the “silk and road initiative: and the sustainable development plan of Poland. Zhi Shuping proposed that taking the visit by President Xi as a new starting point, the two sides further enhance technical communication and cooperation, so as to better address inspection and quarantine issues occurring in bilateral trade, and to serve the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership and benefit the two peoples. Jurgiel echoed Zhi Shuping for his proposal, and said that he cherished the good cooperation with China, and would make his utmost efforts to ensure the quality and safety of food and agriculture products shipped from Poland to China.

  Iceland, the first European county that signed free trade agreement with China, is an important partner in north Europe. Owing to its unique location and good environment, products from Iceland enjoy a world-wide reputation. Iceland has been attaching great importance to the inspection and quarantine access of its fishery and livestock products, and has expressed its desire to enter the Chinese market to several Chinese delegations there. During this visit, Minister Zhi Shuping met with the Icelandic Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Svensson, exchanged views on the SPS cooperation mechanism and comprehensive bilateral cooperation within the framework of the China-Iceland FTA, reached extensive consensus, and signed protocols concerning the sanitary requirements of Atlantic herring, cod and horse of Iceland. The delegation also made field trips to a fishery processing plant, the fishery innovation center and a greenhouse farm. The Chinese ambassador to Iceland, Mr. Zhang Weidong attended all the above mentioned programs, and highly affirmed the significance of the visit.

  Zhi Shuping also listened to the work report by CCIC Europe, CCIC Bremen, and CCIC East Europe, and encouraged them to further improve their sense of responsibility, enhance innovation capacity, to expedite development of their professional team and business extension, so as to build a good image of Chinese enterprises “going global”, and serve as a bridge and an envoy of international cooperation in the inspection and quarantine fields.