DCZ hosts a Meeting with a Delegation from the Saxony State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture at the German Embassy in Beijing
by Juan Marquardt
A meeting with a high-level delegation from Saxony, Germany, was successfully held on 22 March 2019 at the German Embassy in Beijing. The meeting was jointly hosted by the German Embassy in Beijing and the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ). Headed by Dr. Thomas Schmidt, Saxony State Minister of the Environment and Agriculture, the delegation was comprised of 19 participants, among them members of the Saxony State Parliament, officials from the ministry, CEOs and general managers of agricultural, food and agro-trade companies from the Federal State of Saxony.
Dr. Axel Wildner and Dr. Rainer Klepper, agricultural counsellors at the German Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Tang Zhishao, Director of the European Cooperation Division, Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), and Chinese Managing Director of DCZ, Dr. Jürgen Ritter, German Managing Director of DCZ, 5 consultants and staff of DCZ, team leaders and staff of the Sino-German Animal Husbandry Cooperation Project and the Sino-German Forestry Policy Facility Project as well as representatives of GFA Consulting Group and DLG International attended the half-day meeting.
The opening and discussion sessions were chaired by Dr. Jürgen Ritter. On behalf of the German Embassy and the host of the event, Dr. Axel Wildner expressed his heartful welcome to the delegates from Saxony and Chinese and German participants. He also addressed the importance of agricultural cooperation for both countries and highlighted some important issues in Chinese agricultural development, e.g. how to bring benefit to small farmers in the development, the environmental pressure faced in agriculture and impacts of animal epedemics.
Dr. Thomas Schmidt greeted all participants and introduced the major purposes of this official visit and the cooperational partnerships between the State of Saxony and China’s Chongqing and Hubei Provinces. He stressed the wide spectrum of the background of the delegation’s participants which include political representatives as well as high-level delegates from enterprises and scientific institutions. The importance of face-to-face communication with Chinese partners and direct experiences of the local conditions are a prerequisite for the promotion of economic cooperation. He underlined the significance of gaining mutual trust in this long-term process.
On behalf of DCZ, Dr. Jürgen Ritter introduced the background and political importance of the DCZ project as well as the objectives and functions of DCZ for promoting the Sino-German cooperation in agriculture. He also highlighted the components of the project, namely the Agricultural Policy Dialogue, the Scientific Dialogue, the Agri-Food Dialogue and Public Relations and Networking. As examples of the work of the DCZ, he presented some major project activities implemented in 2018 and introduced the essential topics for the collaboration between the two countries, namely Digitalization in Agriculture, Environmentally Friendly Sustainable Livestock Development, Cooperation in the Seeds Sector, Policy Instruments for Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Change and Impact on Agriculture.
Mr. Tang Zhishao welcomed the delegation on behalf of FECC and MARA. In his speech, he reviewed the history and major thematic areas of Sino-German agricultural cooperation over the past forty years. He introduced the background of the DCZ Project and stressed the importance of agricultural cooperation between Germany and China. The DCZ is a unique cooperation platform in China’s cooperation with foreign countries. Mr. Tang further introduced the history of FECC which was founded in the 1980s for the cooperation with foreign countries, at a time when structures for international cooperation were established step by step.
Dr. Rainer Klepper gave a presentation on “Germany and China: Cooperation in the Agriculture and Food Sectors – Status and Perspectives”. Starting with statistical data on China’s country profile, Dr. Klepper described national development policies and elaborated on the environment for business cooperation and commercial investment.
Following the speeches and presentations, the participants from the two countries discussed conditions and approaches for establishing a commercial cooperation partnership between Chinese and German agricultural and food production enterprises.