China is interested in importing 500,000 tons of beef annually from Serbia, and Serbia is willing to meet all the Chinese food standards in order for the export to start as soon as possible. Also, many Chinese companies have expressed interest in investing in Serbian agriculture.
This was said at the meeting between the head of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Zhi Shuping and the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic at which the two sides discussed export of Serbian agricultural products to China.
The Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and the representative of AQSIQ signed yesterday a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation stipulating issuing of safety guarantees for the food intended both for import and export to China. The MoU was signed by the Serbian Agriculture Minister, Branislav Nedimovic and the head of AQSIQ, Minister Zhi Shuping.
“This is an umbrella document that will enable Serbia to export meat, milk, dairy, maize, sugar beet, and prunes to China. We will form task forces in various segments in order to deal with the issues relating to export of meat. We have also signed a protocol which stipulates exchange of scientific information regarding lumpy skin disease in cows”, Nedimovic added.
Last year, Serbia produced around 400,000 tons of meat. A member of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU), Branislav Gulan says that, out of that quantity, around 320,000 tons was pork, and beef was only 75,000 tons which is the lowest produced quantity in Serbia’s recent history.
“Our country cannot export 500,000 tons of beef for export in a hundred years. At the moment, we only have between 15,000 and 20,000 heads of beef cattle. That’s all we have”, Gulan warns.
(Vecernje Novosti, 25.04.2017)
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