Members of the Rural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu met with a delegation of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China in Tallinn on Monday to discuss opportunities for the development of bilateral cooperation in trade.
According to Rural Affairs Committee chairman Aivar Kokk (IRL), Monday's meeting focused on expanding the export of Estonian agricultural products to China, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said.
Kokk highlighted Estonia's image as an organic agricultural producer. "Estonia is interested first and foremost in exporting dairy products and baby food mixes as well as poultry, pork, beef and fish to the Chinese market," he said, adding that developing healthy dairy products and implementing new technology in order to make a breakthrough on the Chinese market would be of particular value. He emphasized that this was where more intense cooperation would be needed to expand export volumes with the help of new products alongside the current primary articles of export.
In their remarks, committee deputy chairman Urmas Kruuse (Reform) and members Igor Gräzin (Reform), Martin Repinski (Center), Arno Sild (EKRE) and Artur Talvik (Free) likewise highlighted various matters related to organic farming.
According to Chinese delegation leader and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee deputy chairman Long Zhuangwei, there are no legislative obstacles in China to the import of agricultural products from Estonia. The MP said that he personally expects to be able to buy Estonian dairy products and other agricultural products on the Chinese market.
The visiting delegation also expressed its interest in rural life and agriculture-related legislation in Estonia.
The two parties stated that bilateral cooperation between Estonia and China received a boost after 2014, when high-level bilateral relations between the two countries resumed and a bilateral action plan was signed. It is based on this accord that cooperation since then has taken place.
The next step will be for Chinese food safety officials to visit Estonia and carry out the procedures necessary for opening the Chinese market to Estonian products.
While in Estonia, the visiting Chinese MPs are also to attend meetings with the Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Rural Development Foundation, and on Tuesday visit the E-Piim dairy plant and organic agricultural products producer Pajusi in Jõgeva County.
Editor: Aili Vahtla