O’Neill greets Chinese veterinary officials

MINISTER for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill has met with Chinese government officials in Belfast to discuss possible trade opportunities with China.

The visit by delegation of veterinary officials follows the successful trip to China in November 2012 by the Minister. They will visit pig premises as part of the part of the negotiation process to facilitate exports of agricultural products to China.

Speaking after the visit, Minister O’Neill said: “I am delighted to welcome the Chinese veterinarians to the north of Ireland where we pride ourselves on the very high standards of animal health and welfare, and on the production of high quality agri-products for local use and export market.

“I recently visited China in an effort to strengthen trade links between our two countries and raise the profile of the local agri-food sector. While in China I met with key elected Chinese officials to discuss the removal of barriers to trade, an issue which is extremely important to the agri-food sector here.

“The meeting will allow us to progress our discussions towards mutually beneficial trade agreements. The inspectors will also have the opportunity to witness our production systems at first hand and take a positive message back to China to further enhance our trading opportunities.”

The Minister added: “I am fully committed to increasing cooperation with China and hopefully trade in the future.”