BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolo? will be in China from June 8-13 to deepen E.U.-China cooperation in the fields of agriculture and rural development.

"Food security, food safety, food quality, climate change and the balanced development of rural and urban areas are key challenges that need to be addressed in the upcoming years both by the European Union and China,” Ciolo? said before his departure. “I am pleased to take up the invitation of Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to visit China to strengthen our cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development. Our cooperation projects and our trade relations are increasing on the basis of long term relations and mutual trust. Europe and China are the two largest agricultural producers in the world. Our capacity to work together is crucial to build a global food security compact in the context of climate change and demographic growth.”

During the visit Ciolo? will meet leading members of the Chinese government, including Vice-Premier (responsible for agriculture) Hui Liangyu, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Minister Zhi Shuping of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) as well as Minister Zhou Bohua of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

These meetings will be of key importance to foster the current bilateral and multilateral cooperation in agriculture, with a particular emphasis on knowledge-sharing in the field of rural development via people-to-people projects; enhancing quality food products' recognition with a new step in the talks on Geographical Indications and on organic agriculture; and strengthening cooperation in fighting counterfeiting in the wines and spirits sector.