European Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos spent three days in Beijing last week as part of an effort to strengthen co-operation between the European Union and China in the areas of agriculture and rural development.
The main topics addressed during the visit concerned enhanced co-operation in the fight against counterfeiting in the wines and spirits sector.
Food security and agricultural research were also discussed with a view to increasing agricultural productivity and sustainable management of natural resources.
The visit was also aiming to boost dialogue on trade aspects related to agricultural products as well as an EU–China organic food equivalency arrangement and an agreement on quality food products.
China has become the focus of much attention by Irish and other EU exporters of food and other agricultural related products.
Just two weeks ago, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the agreement of the Beijing authorities to the terms of a veterinary certificate that will enable the export of horses direct from Ireland to China.
The agreement will provide for the pre-export preparation and quarantine horses to take place in Ireland.
Previously, horses were exported via the Netherlands which was costly and burdensome for Irish breeders.
Mr Coveney said he looked forward to seeing increased horse exports to this important market.
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