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EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan will lead a sizable trade mission to China and Japan from April 16-22. The Commissioner will visit Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo.

Over 45 companies from 15 Member States including Ireland will participate. According to the Commissioner, efforts to “iron out” non-tariff barriers to trade with China and Japan will be prioritised during the trade mission. China and Japan are critical export markets for the EU dairy sector, with the slowdown in Chinese demand a key reason for the current market crisis.

EU cheese exports to Japan increased by 48% in 2015, which proved to be an important market outlet due to the Russian embargo. Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Japan continues, with the 16th round of talks to take place in Brussels this week.

The Commissioner will lead further trade missions to Indonesia and Vietnam later this year.

Eamonn Farrell

Agri Food Policy Executive