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Minister Coughlan welcomes opportunity for enhanced co-operation on agricultural matters between Ireland and China

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., is pleased to announce that her Department and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Co-operation which will further develop the existing friendly relations between the two countries.

The Minister said that the Memorandum will help to strengthen co-operation in areas such as

  • Quality and safety management of agricultural and food products
  • Livestock breeding and husbandry
  • Veterinary services
  • Dairy co-operation
  • Agri-business and trade

This will be achieved by the exchange of information and experts and the provision of technical assistance and training, where necessary.

The Minister noted that while China had a vast agricultural sector it also had enormous potential as a market for quality food products. Ireland had established highly developed food production skills and would be in a position to target this market. The memorandum would therefore be of mutual benefit to both countries and would help to boost economic, scientific, technological and trade cooperation in the agricultural sector.

25 September, 2006

Note for editors:

The Memorandum of Understanding was concluded during the important visit to Ireland of Vice Premier Mr Zeng Peiyan from 24-26 September 2006. It was signed on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture by the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland His Excellency Mr Zhang Xinseng and on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture and Food by Mr Jim Beecher Assistant Secretary General at the Department.

Date Released: 25 September 2006