China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ma Youxiang who is in Canberra, Australia, by appointment to meet with the Australian Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, and with the Secretary-General Andrew Metcalfe, held the 14th meeting of the China-Australia Joint Commission on Agriculture. The two sides seek to exchange views on strengthening cooperation between the two countries in agriculture and fisheries.
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Ma Youxiang first conveyed the friendly greetings from Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tang Renjian to Watt, saying that under the leadership of the important consensus of the Bali meeting between the two leaders, China-Australia relations have shown a positive trend of stabilization and improvement, and both sides should cherish this important opportunity and promote Sino-Australia agricultural cooperation to a healthy and normal track. China is willing to work with the Australian side to accelerate the transformation of their respective advantages into more practical cooperation results.
Ma Youxiang said that today’s Joint Committee reached an important consensus on the next step of cooperation. Firstly, to make good use of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and various mechanisms under the framework so as to maintain strategic docking and working dialogue that will ensure healthy and stable cooperation in agriculture and fisheries. Secondly, to strengthen exchanges on important topics such as food security and climate-smart agriculture, and to facilitate innovative cooperation in areas such as food loss reduction, soil health, animal disease prevention and control, and industry promotion. This is in order to stabilize market expectations and lead to sustainable agricultural development. Thirdly, focus on the continuous growth of agricultural trade and economy, and focus on cooperation in technical measures for market access, interaction and exchange between market players. Fourthly, to enhance synergistic interaction on multilateral occasions, to take care of each other’s concerns, and to demonstrate the image and influence that a great power should have.
Watt said that the new Australian government attaches great importance to the development of relations with China. Australia’s and China’s agricultural tradition is friendly and important, Ma Youxiang’s visit is of great concern to all walks of life in Australia. In a word, Australia, is willing to work with the Chinese side in the same direction, using the existing mechanism to consolidate and expand agricultural, economic, trading and scientific cooperation to a higher level.
The Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, attended the meeting.