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Minister Coughlan welcomes Pig Plant inspection visit by Chinese Authorities

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., has welcomed the decision by the Chinese authorities to the effect that the decision by the officials of AQSIQ - the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China will visit Ireland in April. The purpose of the visit is to inspect pork processing plants with the view to exporting pork to the People's Republic of China.

Minister Coughlan said that this visit is a follow-up activity to the very successful trade visit by the Taoiseach, a number of Ministers and a large trade delegation to China in January last year. During that visit she signed a protocol on pork trade with the Chinese authorities. A lot of follow-up work has taken place on aspects of the protocol since then and the visit to inspect Irish plants is the final phase in the context of commencing trade.

"This is a great opportunity for Irish pork processors and pig producers" added Minister Coughlan and she hoped that they would fully avail of the trade possibilities provided. Furthermore she intended to build on this development and develop trade with China in the whole agriculture and food area.

8 March, 2006

Date Released: 08 March 2006