Authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture of China and IICA identified possible areas of cooperation.
San Jose, 12 February 2018 (IICA). “IICA is the most important agricultural institution of the Americas,” stated Ye Anping, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture of China, during a meeting with authorities of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), held in Costa Rica.
During the meeting, the Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, demonstrated the importance of fostering joint work by sharing the following data: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) produces close to 30% of agricultural products imported by China, while China represents more than 13% of agricultural exports from the LAC region. Otero also highlighted the region’s tremendous potential to expand its role as a food supplier for China.
According to Anping, IICA and the Ministry of Agriculture of China have agreed on the areas of cooperation that should be addressed in order to foster agricultural development. He also believes that his country has much to contribute to LAC in this regard. “China is the most important country in terms of the provision of financial resources for South-South cooperation in agriculture; it is also the country that makes the greatest amount of scientific and technological contributions for the benefit of the sector,” he stated.
Opportunities for joint training in science and technology were also discussed during the meeting.
Otero, on the other hand, expressed his interest in further increasing linkages between this Asian country and the LAC region, as well as materializing cooperation actions. “We offer IICA as a bridge that can facilitate this rapprochement between the Americas and China, as well as strengthen relationships and contribute to agricultural development in our region,” he stated.
“Agriculture is one of the priorities in free trade negotiations between China and Latin America. I am certain that our Institute will assume a significant technical role in this process,” stated Anping. He also listed the food sector as another priority.
Participants at the meeting, which lasted over one hour, explored opportunities to support joint training activities in the areas of science and technology.
Otero also expressed his interest in including China as an observer country of IICA; Anping responded with gratitude and stated that he would submit this request to the Inter-American Board of Agriculture, the Institute’s highest governing body.
The delegation led by Anping was made up of Wan Jing, Deputy Director of the Division of American and Oceanian Affairs of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture of China; Chen Tianjin, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS); Fang Wei, Associate Professor at CAAS; Zhao Xiaojun, President of the Overseas Agricultural Development Group of Lianfeng, Hubei; and Dai Zuyun, President of the Horticulture Seeds Company of Jianghuai, Anhui.
Chelston Brathwaite and Martín Piñeiro, Directors General Emeritus of IICA, also participated in the meeting.
Miguel Ángel Arvelo, Chief of Staff of IICA