Commissioner Hogan said: "China is a key trading partner for the EU agri-food sector. There is strong and growing demand among China's increasing consumer class for our high quality food and drink products, and by meeting directly with our Chinese counterparts, we can build the business and political relationships required to accelerate this growth. The EU is the global leader in free and fair trade, and we will continue to vigorously pursue increased trade with our global partners for our mutual benefit."
The commissioner will be accompanied by a business delegation of 70 representatives from across the European agri-food sector, representing national associations or businesses from 22 different countries, as well as a number of EU-wide associations. As with the Commissioner's recent visits to Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the aim of the visit is to facilitate potential business agreements between European and Chinese agri-food sector companies.
China is the second largest importer of EU agricultural and processed agricultural products, accounting for 8.7% of all EU agricultural exports in 2016, and European food and drink products are becoming increasingly popular with China's emerging middle class in particular. To underline this growing importance, the EU has been chosen as the region of honour at the SIAL China in Shanghai, Asia's largest food exhibition. Commissioner Hogan will officially open the exhibition on 16 May. A full programme of activities is organised for the business delegation, including seminars on the characteristics of the local market and consumer trends, retail visits, networking opportunities and a visit to SIAL.