THE Asean Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry and the Minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People’s Republic of China held their Fourth Meeting on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (SPS Cooperation) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on September 25.
The meeting was under the co-chairmanship of U Myint Hlaing, Union Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar and Dr Zhi Shuping, Minister of AQSIQ, PR China.
It was attended by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources.
In a joint statement at the end of the meeting, the ministers welcomed the significant progress and expressed their support and commitment on the implementation of the Plan of Action for the period of 2011-2015 to implement the Joint Declaration on the Asean China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in which agriculture is becoming one of the priority areas.
The ministers noted the progress of the Asean China Cooperation on SPS, implemented under the Plan of Action for 2013-2014. Taking into consideration the fast growth of Asean-China trade on food, the need to ensure food safety becomes a challenge.
The ministers reiterated the commitment to strengthen SPS cooperation between Asean and China as it will significantly contribute to the enhancement of trade opportunity of food and agricultural products.
The ministers endorsed the new Plan of Action for 2015–2016, covering cooperation in the areas of i) establishment of information notification and communication system; ii) exchange of visits of relevant personnel of the Parties; iii) organise training, seminar, conference and similar activities for narrowing the development gap within Asean and China; iv) collaborative research in the areas of mutual interest; and v) establishment of mechanism for consultation.
The ministers noted the operation-alisation of China – Asean SPS Cooperation Information website (http://www.chinaAseansps.com) and the China Asean Inspection and Quarantine Information website (http://caexpo.gxciq.gov.cn) to facilitate exchange of information, enhance SPS communication, and support implementation of the SPS MoU Cooperation as well as support the implementation of Asean-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA).
The ministers reaffirmed their continued support in advancing cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Asean and the People’s Republic of China on Strengthening SPS Cooperation (MoU on SPS) through the signing of new MoU on September 25.
The MoU on SPS is envisaged to contribute to successful implementation of the ACFTA.
The ministers agreed to have the fifth meeting in China on 2016. The ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the meeting.
Meanwhile a bilateral meeting between Brunei Darussalam and the Kingdom of Thailand was also held on September 25 at Horizon Lake View Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The meeting between the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand discussed areas of mutual interest in agriculture and fisheries between the two countries.
Brunei was represented by Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya and Thailand was represented by Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives and officials.