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Ministry: Hungary to boost agriculture ties with China

Hungary is committed to strengthening its agricultural and trade cooperation with China, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday, adding that one key milestone for this would be if China recognised regionalisation when it comes to bird flu and swine fever.

Hungary has the highest number of food export permits for China among central European countries, the agriculture ministry said in a statement after a meeting between Istvan Nagy and Ma Youxiang, his Chinese counterpart, in Budapest.

At the talks, Nagy noted that Hungary and China are marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, saying this provided an opportunity for them to review and advance their economic and trade relations. They can also further deepen their ties through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, he said, adding that China was a key partner for Hungary.

Nagy said was one of the most important players of the global economy, which meant Hungary devoted special attention to their bilateral partnership. He said that though Hungarian farm products could not compete on the Chinese market in terms of quantity, Hungarian premium products like goose liver, Tokaj wine and mangalitsa pork were able to “hold their own”.

Nagy pointed out that Hungary was a leader in seed cultivation and was also prepared to share its experience in fishing and aquaculture technologies and R+D.

The ministers also discussed animal health matters related to avian influenza and swine fever, the ministry said. It added that China’s recognition of regionalisation when it came to these diseases would give a significant boost to Hungary’s foreign trade. To this end, Hungary’s chief veterinary officer will receive a delegation of experts from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs next month, who will be briefed on Hungary’s animal health protocols and the Hungarian authority’s epidemiological measures.

Nagy said Hungary and China could also boost cooperation in science, education and technology.

At the meeting, Ma invited Nagy to attend two international conferences China is to host, the ministry said.

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