Romania, China – memorandum on agricultural cooperation


Romania and China sign recently a memorandum on developing agricultural cooperation as part of an official visit to Romania by China’s Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu.
‘This is a visit on which we count a lot to identify new avenues for exports of Romanian products following a rise in domestic production. The memorandum on agriculture covers cooperation in plant growing, animal husbandry and the food industry. Each field is rounded up by research,’ Romania’s Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin told Agerpres on Friday.
The Chinese partners are interested not only in importing cattle and pork carcasses from Romania, but also in imports of sheep and in beekeeping. Constantin said the memorandum will comprise new avenues for cooperation, working groups to identify possibilities to improve the trade balance as well as a partnership designed to attract Chinese investors to Romania and to allow Romanians to invest in China.
On the occasion of the visit to Romania of Chinese Minister of Agriculture, the Romanian Niro Investment Group and China’s Huayu Industrial Group will develop integrated organic farming projects, with the first investment and cooperation agreement to this effect being signed last Friday, according to a press release.
The agreement provides for Romania-based investments by Chinese companies in crops, the production of biomass and bio fuels, animal husbandry, dairy and meat processing. The planned integrated complex will also include greenhouses for the production of vegetables and a unit for their processing. In turn, Niro Investment Group will invest in China to develop together with the Asian partner a facility of bio fertilizers and farms for reproduction and dairy cows. On the other hand, Minister of Economy, Constantin Nita, conducts during June 6-13 an official visit to the People’s Republic of China.
The first part of the visit, during June 6-9, Minister Constantin Nita participated in a Ministerial Conference of Economy and Commerce Ministers of China and Eastern and Central European countries, an event held in Ningbo.
The second part of the visit, June 9-13, includes meetings with representatives of Chinese institutions and companies: China Coal, China Gezhouba Group, China CAMC Engineering, China National Electric Engineering, China Huadian, The National Administration for Energy, Import-Export Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Junlun Petroleum, Ministry of Commerce – Department for Foreign Investments, China State Construction Engineering Corp., China Hisun PV Technology.

Interest in Oltchim
According to a release from the Ministry of the Economy, the Chinese companies are interested in upgrading and expanding the production capacities at Rovinari thermal power plant, in developing the Units 3 and 4 of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, the privatization of Oltchim petrochemical plant, the creation of the pumped-storage hydro power plant at Tarnita, the construction of Craiova-Pitesti motorway and the construction of the high-speed railroad Bucharest-Constanta.
‘The People’s Republic of China is the main commercial partner of Romania in the Asian area from a commercial trade value viewpoint, both on imports and on exports. It is a market with [important] potential that Romanian companies can accede to, so as to improve the level of economic trade between Romania and China. At the same time, it is essential to continue talks begun last year and furthered by the agreements signed during the visit of Premier Li Keqiang. Units 3 and 4 of Cernavoda [Nuclear Power Station], the pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Tarnita-Lapustesti, modernizing coal plants and developing industrial parks are priorities of the Romanian Government and I am confident that we will implement as many of these projects as possible,’ said Constantin Nita.
Nevertheless, no company has submitted any offer to take over Oltchim by the deadline day which was Friday, June 6 and the legal administrators of the chemical plant will resume the process of selling the stock. Even in this situation, Nita said that Oltchim will not be closed. As for Prime Minister Victor Ponta, he said all the restructuring measures were enforced at Oltchim to make him viable, as it is eligible for crediting. Minister Nita added that Oltchim must not incur losses anymore, and that a proper financing must be found to achieve this target, to open one or two production lines.  In 2013, according to Romanian statistical data, the total volume of commercial trade between Romania and China (excluding SAR Hong Kong) stood at USD 3.284 billion, of which Romanian exports on the Chinese market clocked in at USD 663.63 million (a 34.20 percent increase when compared to the similar period of the year before) whereas imports stood at USD 2.621 billion (a 2.50 percent drop).

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