Greece, China sign agro products, foods accord

Greece and China on Monday signed a five-year cooperation agreement on quality, hygiene and safety of farm products and foods.
The agreement, signed between Greece's agricultural development and foods ministry and China's quality control general inspectorate, is expected to contribute to closer cooperation between the two countries with the aim of facilitating Greek farm and food product exports to the Chinese market.

"Our aim is to further promote the good cooperation between our two ministries," Chinese minister Zhi Shuping said, noting the close ties that have developed between Greece and China in recent years.

"This is the fourth consecutive agreement we have signed with the general inspectorate," agricultural development and foods minister Costas Skandalidis said.

The talks between the two sides also covered matters of bilateral interest, while Skandalidis further accepted an invitation to visit China for the purpose of projection of Greek products.

The accord covers the mutual recognition of production systems and quality certification, as well as the control and certification methods for agricultural and food products hygiene and safety between the two countries.
The cooperation will include exchanges of information and knowhow regarding the management and operation of certification systems in the production of agricultural products and foods, as well as programs for preventive controls and quarantine rules.

It further envisages exchange of knowhow in the development of standards in the production of certified quality products and monitoring, control and certification systems, including the requirements for cross-border promotion of agricultural products and foods.

In that context, a Mixed Greek-Chinese Committee will be set up with representatives of the two sides, which will meet regularly in Greece and China alternately, on dates to be set via diplomatic channels.

The five-year accord will be extended automatically for further five-year periods.

Bilateral issues were also discussed between the agriculture ministry leadership and a large Chinese delegation, with the participation of Chinese ambassador to Greece Luo Linquan.

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