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Nov 18, 2010

China Ends Boycotts With Argentina, Seeks New Food Deals

In mid-November 2010, China's Agriculture Minister Han Changfu spent five days in Argentina.  On his agenda:

    China's Agriculture Minister Han Changu
    photo courtesy of Expo 2010 Shanghai, China
  1. Mend strained relations caused by China's recent six month defacto boycott of Argentina soyoil. 
  2. Announce that after four years, China would resume imports of Argentine beef. 
  3. Announce that China would begin importing Argentine brewing barley and wine.
  4. Agree to start talks with Argentine Agriculture Minister Julian Dominguez regarding phytosanitary protocol so that China can import Argentine corn.  Approximately 80% of Argentine corn is gene-engineered (GE) and China has only so far approved certain (US) GE corn varieties for import. 

"In the private sector, Chinese investors recently announced funding for Argentina's booming agricultural sector, including the construction of an $800 million fertilizer plant and a cargo railway upgrade to link fast-growing northern soy areas to port.

Last month, the Chinese province of Heilongjiang signed a deal with Argentina's Patagonian Rio Negro province to work on a project to expand Argentina's usual agriculture borders by supplying irrigation systems.

In 2009, Chinese investment in Argentina totaled $136.7 million, down slightly from the $142.5 million invested in the previous year but way up from just $12.9 million in 2004, Argentine government data shows."

For more see: Popper, Helen and Maximilian Heath, “China Shores Up Food Supplies With Argentina Deals,” China Wine News, 18 November 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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