Rome — Over the past 35 years, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been active in raising funds, promoting global agricultural cooperation, supporting grain production in developing countries and improving nutrition for the poor, Chinese Vice Premier Hui Langyu said here on Wednesday.
Attending the opening ceremony of the 36th session of IFAD's Governing Council, Hui said the IFAD has made important contribution to the global endeavour for grain production and poverty reduction. "The Chinese government applauds IFAD for its untiring efforts and fruitful work," he said.
The vice premier also recalled the agricultural cooperation between China and international community. "China has taken an active part in international exchanges and cooperation in agricultural development and poverty reduction and enjoyed sound cooperation with other developing countries as well as IFAD and other international organizations," Hui said.
"Many countries and international organizations have supported us in developing agriculture and reducing poverty, and helped us in the wake of serious natural disasters. We have also provided help to other developing countries within the realm of our capabilities through bilateral and multilateral channels, " He told the IFAD meeting.
"Going forward, China will continue to expand cooperation with other developing countries and international organizations such as IFAD," said Hui.
On Wednesday, Hui also attended an agricultural cooperation roundtable meeting including delegations from China, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. Agricultural cooperation, as an important part of China's cooperation with the six countries, has kept expanding in recent years, he said.
"Our agricultural trade grew from $510 million in 2000 to $2.75 billion in 2012, an average annual increase of 15 percent. Your quality products such as olive oil, wine and cotton have entered numerous Chinese households," Hui said, referring to food sold to China from the six countries in Southern Europe.
"The export of olive oil to China has taken up 90 percent of our total annual import of olive oil. Thanks to our frequent information exchanges and mutual visits in the agricultural field, we have maintained good communication and coordination on major issues and further deepened the agricultural cooperation between the two sides," Hui told agriculture ministers from the six southern European nations, all the European Union member states.
Hui arrived in Rome on Tuesday and his three-country tour will also take him to Slovakia and Switzerland.