Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä visited Shanghai and Beijing on 15-18 May, promoting Finnish food and wood exports and Finnish-Chinese water cooperation.
In Shanghai Minister Leppä visited the SIAL Food Innovation Exhibition and Finland’s country stand presented by Food from Finland, showcasing Finnish companies that produce high value-added foods. Present at the exhibition were Apetit, Linkosuon Leipomo, Fazer Confectionery, Fazer Mills, Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas, Lasso Drinks, Raisio, Santa Water Group, Stadin Brewing Company and Vanajan Keksit. Finland’s stand was produced as part of the Food from Finland export promotion programme funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
As a highlight, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht also visited their Pavilion on 16 May, reported Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai.
In addition, Food from Finland organised an extensive networking event for potential Chinese buyers. The event provided a valuable opportunity for matchmaking between Finnish and Chinese food and beverage companies and investors, according to the consulate.
In Shanghai Minister Leppä also participated in the opening of Valio’s office on 15 May, also aimed to promote Finnish food exports to China. Valio is a global pioneer in dairy business, known for quality products and pure raw ingredients.
In Beijing Minister Leppä negotiated with Chinese government representatives about food export licences and food safety. Minister Leppä also participated in a Finnish-Chinese wood forum, where companies in the wood processing and construction sector search new markets. The aim was to increase the export of high value-added products to China. Of the companies participating in the Wood from Finland programme present at the wood forum are Arborealis, ER-Saha, HASA, Iisveden Metsä, Keitele Wood Products, Kuhmo, Lunawood, Luvian Saha, Multian Saha, Pölkky, Sahakuutio, SWM-Wood and Versowood.
”Finnish food exports are increasing and growth is sought in China as well. This is also one of the Government’s key projects. Exports of sawn goods to China have grown quite dramatically and China is one of the most important destinations for our exports in this sector, but now we also wish to focus more on high value-added products,” said Minister Jari Leppä.
On the agenda of the meeting at the Ministry of Water Resources of China was the continuation and further strengthening of water cooperation between Finland and China and between the EU and China. Finland and China already have close cooperation in the water sector, and Finland has adopted a significant role in the EU-China cooperation as well. The European Secretariat of the China-Europe Water Platform is hosted by Finland in 2018-2019.
Finland and China are also discussing deeper cooperation in research and between companies. Cooperation projects are underway for products such as oats and dairy products and on the utilisation of biomass.
Joining the Finnish delegation were also representatives from the Finnish Food Safety Authority and Natural Resources Institute Finland.
Sources: Embassy of Finland in Beijing, Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai