The EU wants to increase food exports to China due to trade tensions

European Union (EU) Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said this week during a visit to China that his focus will be on increasing agri-food exports to the world’s second-largest economy and ensuring food is not affected due to increasing trade tensions between China and the EU. on Monday, April 22, Reuters reports.

“There are no barriers to Chinese imports in the food trade,” Wojciechowski said in an interview in Shanghai on Monday.

“My goal is to reduce the impact on agriculture caused by problems in other sectors,” he added.

The commissioner’s visit, scheduled for Friday, coincides with rising trade tensions between China and Europe, described by Jens Eskelund, president of the European Chamber in China, as a “slow-motion train wreck” due to escalating protectionism.

Unlike sectors such as solar panels or new energy vehicles (NEVs), the EU’s agriculture and food sector has built up an export surplus to China.

Moreover, unlike in other sectors, unrestricted food trade is seen as “a very important instrument to guarantee food supply everywhere”. Therefore, according to Wojciechowski, Western sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine did not target agricultural and food products.

Last year, EU exports to China amounted to 14.6 billion euros, 8% less than in 2022,

while imports from China to the EU fell by 15% to 8.3 billion euros.

Vojcechowski said EU exports to China could grow in a number of agri-food sectors, including poultry, pork, beef and dairy sectors, which have already made significant inroads into the Chinese market.

He emphasized that China’s middle-class consumers are increasingly demanding high-quality food, creating opportunities to increase European food exports.

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