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Australia and China sign trade MoU for horticulture

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and the China Entry¬-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this week – a demonstration of the long-term commitment to building the relationship between Australia and China.

The MoU between Australia and China seeks to create a framework for mutually beneficial engagement of horticultural trade interests between the two countries. The MoU is one part of the Australian horticulture industry’s holistic trade strategy, including identifying opportunities arising from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The MoU was signed at a ceremony at the Australian Embassy in Beijing on Thursday 10 September, as part of Hort Innovation’s hosting of the Australia Fresh pavilion at the 2015 China Fruit and Vegetable Fair (FVF) from 9–11 September.
The ceremony was hosted by Hort Innovation’s General Manager, Research, Marketing and Investments, Mr David Moore and Hort Innovation Trade Manager, Mr Sam Lawrence, with special guests, CIQA President, Mr Ge Zhirong, CIQA Secretary General, Mr Bao Junkai, Chief Inspector of the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Mr Xiang Yuzhang, and CIQA Senior Adviser, Madam Guo Lisheng.

The ceremony was also attended by representatives of the Almond Board Australia, Apple and Pear Australia Limited, Cherry Growers Australia, Citrus Australia, Australian Mango Industry Association, Summerfruit Australia, Australian Table Grape Association, Fruit Growers Tasmania and CCW Wines.

The Hon Jaala Pulford, Victorian Minister for Agriculture, the Australian Agricultural Counsellors to China, Mr Adam Balcerak and Dr Anna Somerville, the Australian Trade Commissioner, Ms Susan Corbisiero, officials from the Australian Embassy Beijing, and the Victorian and Tasmanian governments were also in attendance. Dignitaries included leaders from the Chinese industry in the wholesale, import and retail sectors.

Hort Innovation CEO, Mr John Lloyd said the MoU is a tangible demonstration of Hort Innovation’s leadership in the trade space, bringing together Australian horticultural exporting commodities under one document.

“Hort Innovation has worked closely with CIQA to negotiate the MoU, and the high-level attendance on both sides reflects the importance the parties attach to the relationship,” Mr Lloyd said.

Hort Innovation organised a programme of activities at the China FVF including a technical workshop – the 6th China-Australia Workshop on Horticultural Cooperation. The Workshop, co-sponsored by Hort Innovation and China’s CIQA, saw a series of presentations from industry in both countries aiming to expand understanding and cooperation across the horticulture sector.

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