BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolo?, is in Beijing, China, July 22-24, to strengthen E.U.-China cooperation in the areas of agriculture and rural development.

"Agriculture is of strategic importance for both the E.U. and China in our efforts to address challenges such as ensuring food security, fighting climate change, and achieving a balanced development of rural territories. Based on a long term, trustful and open collaboration, our trade relations in the area of food and agriculture are growing. Following last year's agreement for a cooperation plan on agriculture that has already started producing concrete results, I believe there is still an enormous potential for development for the benefit of both parties,” said Ciolo?.

The main topics to be addressed during the visit concern enhanced cooperation in the fight against counterfeiting in the wines and spirits sector, as well as in the field of food security and agricultural research with a view to increase agricultural productivity and sustainable management of natural resources. The visit is also aiming to boost the dialogue on trade aspects related to agricultural products as well as the E.U.–China organic food equivalency arrangement and the agreement on quality food products.

Ciolo? will have meetings with leading members of the Chinese government, including Vice-Premier Wang Yang, the Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu, minister Zhi Shuping, leading the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Minister Zhang Mao of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and with the President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Professor LI Jiayang.