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Feb 16, 2012

US & China Hold Historic Symposium & Sign Strategic Cooperation Plan at World Food Prize HQ in Iowa

On 16 February 2012, the World Food Prize and the USDA issued press releases and Brownfield Ag News reported on the first agricultural symposium ever held between the United States and China.  This historic meeting was held in at the World Food Prize headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.  Present at the symposium were U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, current Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.  
Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack called the symposium “an historic event.”  He added, “We are the world’s two largest agricultural producers and strong collaborators in agricultural research and education ... Our great trade relationship has benefited the citizens of both of our nations. Every day, our nations and the livelihoods of our citizens grow more connected and I look forward to strengthening that bond even further in the years ahead."  
Chinese vice president Xi added, "I believe these discussions will further deepen China/US agriculture exchanges and cooperation. They will make our agriculture sectors better developed, rural areas more prosperous and our farmers better off."
At the end of the symposium, officials from both countries signed a five-year "Plan of Strategic Cooperation" that covered "food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture, as well as enhanced business relationships between the two countries." 
Vilsack's commented that the plan "builds on the already strong relationship our nations enjoy around agricultural science, trade, and education. It looks to deepen our cooperation through technical exchange and to strengthen coordination in priority areas like animal and plant health and disease, food security, sustainable agriculture, genetic resources, agricultural markets and trade, and biotechnology and other emerging technologies."  Xi Jinping added that "China attaches great importance to food security, and ensuring a sufficient food supply for 1.3 billion people." 
In the 2011 fiscal year, China was the top destination for U.S. agricultural exports, accounting for US$20 billion.
For more see: 
Harker, Julie. "Vilsack and Xi Sign Strategic Plan," Brownfield Ag News, 16 February 2012.

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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