China and the Netherlands will step up cooperation in agricultural research and training, sustainable rural development and agricultural business, according to two documents the two nations signed here on Tuesday.
Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, who is on a three-day official visit to the Netherlands, and Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Gerda Verburg, signed the Joint Declaration on Agricultural Cooperation, which aims to further strengthen cooperation in agriculture and rural development.
According to the declaration, the two sides will improve information exchange on policies for sustainable agriculture and rural development, enhance cooperation on agricultural research and knowledge extension, and collaborate more closely in dairy production, animal health and other areas.
Verburg and Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture Zhang Baowen also signed an agreement on establishing a Sino-Dutch Agricultural Innovation and Promotion Center in Beijing.
The center, to be built at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, is intended to promote and implement bilateral cooperation on agricultural research and innovation.
Focus areas include food and nutrition, meat products, vegetables, fruits, flowers, milk and dairy products, rural development and ecological agriculture.
During his talks with Verburg before the signing ceremony, Hui said that China, a large developing agricultural nation, and the Netherlands, one of the world's leading agricultural countries, have a strong complementary nature in the agricultural sector and boast great potential for cooperation.
China looks forward to learning from the Dutch in agricultural research and innovation, and will work with Dutch experts to explore more effective ways of knowledge extension through joint pilot training programs, he said.
Verburg said that Dutch-Chinese cooperation in agriculture has been fruitful and that her country is ready to share experience and expertise with China in agricultural production and rural development.
The Netherlands looks forward to enhancing cooperation with China in agricultural research, animal health and food security, and expanding bilateral agricultural trade, she added.
Hui, who arrived at the Hague Sunday afternoon, is scheduled to meet Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende later Tuesday.
He will also meet Dutch Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management Camiel Eurlings and attend the signing ceremony of three documents on bilateral cooperation in water management.
The Netherlands is the first leg of Hui's four-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Ukraine, Romania and Serbia.