Wednesday 30 May 2012
Farm trade with Hong Kong
Japan's farm ministry signed a memorandum with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council on Monday to cooperate in promoting Japanese food and agricultural exports to the Chinese territory.
They will exchange information on Japanese exports and hold regular meetings to discuss specific cooperation measures, ministry officials said.
Meanwhile, Japanese food and agricultural exports will be promoted in a series of trade fairs, product magazines, online marketplaces and business-matching activities.
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries views Hong Kong not only as a consumer of Japanese food but also as a gateway to the vast Chinese market.
''If the Hong Kong council provides advice regularly, Japan will change its way of business and increase exports,'' Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at the signing ceremony in Tokyo.
In 2011, Hong Kong imported 111.1 billion yen worth of Japanese food products, making it the largest importer of Japanese food products.
In response to the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident, however, Hong Kong suspended the import of some Japanese agricultural and fishery products including vegetables.
The MOU signing came amid a visit to Japan of a Hong Kong Trade Development Council delegation led by Gregory So, secretary for commerce and economic development, which includes 120 government officials and business leaders.
They kicked off the ''Think Global, Think Hong Kong'' campaign, which expects to draw many Japanese businesspeople and government officials to symposiums and seminars in Tokyo on Tuesday and in Osaka on Thursday.
The six-day campaign aims at promoting Hong Kong as a service platform for Japanese companies to tap into the mainland and global markets.
On Monday, So visited an elementary school in Sendai and met with Miyagi Prefure Gov. Yoshihiro Murai to learn about recovery progress in the wake of the damage caused by last year's earthquake and tsunami.
He will also visit the headquarters of Nissan Motor Co. in Yokohama before heading back to Hong Kong on Thursday.
China and Hong Kong together account for US$204 billion worth of Japanese exports, about a quarter of Japan's worldwide exports last year, according to Japanese trade statistics.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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