Republic of Ireland (RoI) minister for agriculture food and marine, Michael Creed TD met with Zhi Shuping, senior minister with responsibility for the Quarantine Inspection Service (AQSIQ) in China as part of a major trade mission in Asia.
A range of issues were discussed during the meeting, with emphasis on Ireland’s application for access to trade beef with China.
Creed said the discussions were very positive “in terms of moving forward a number of technical issues which can make a difference to Irish companies wishing to trade in China”.
“The platform has been laid for further technical engagement between our experts on these issues,” he said.
“On beef, the process of approval is complex, and involves a number of the Chinese services,” explained Creed. “However, I am particularly encouraged that the minister has undertaken to ensure that his officials expedite their consideration of Ireland’s application for beef access. While there are further steps in the process, I am satisfied this represents really positive progress, against a background where Ireland has already the first EU member state for whom the BSE ban was lifted, in 2015.”
Shuping announced his commitment to instruct AQSIQ officials to complete a report on a technical inspection carried in January of this year, which was labelled as a “welcome breakthrough in terms of furthering our application for access”.
Ireland’s Singapore hub
Earlier this year, GlobalMeatNews reported that China was in talks to visit Ireland to explore export opportunities for Irish meat.
During his trade visit in Asia, which concluded on Saturday, 10 September, Creed was joined by representatives of major agri-food and agri-tech companies as well as officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and Teagasc.
While in Singapore, Creed officially opened the Bord Bia South East Asia Regional Office. “This represents an important strengthening of their presence in Asia, in recognition of the growing demand and opportunities for Irish agri-food exports in the region,” he commented. “I was pleased to showcase the very best of Irish food including beef, pork, duck, lamb, salmon, cheese and yoghurts to a hand-picked audience of influential food industry representatives from Singapore. This was an important networking event and will help to establish Bord Bia firmly on the radar of the retail sector and buyers in the food industry here.”