Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the opening of a new Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shenyang, the capital of northwest China's international trade hub in Liaoning province.
Agricultural Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller officially opened the office on behalf of USDA.
Along with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, the Shenyang office is the fifth ATO on mainland China and the 102nd overseas office staffed by US Department of Agriculture in 82 countries around the world.
Promoting US agriculture
The primary mission of ATOs is to assist in marketing and promoting U.S. agricultural, fish, and forestry products, and to assist in trade development in their respective regions.
“Increased agricultural exports create important income opportunities for producers as well as the off-farm jobs that are so critical for strengthening economies in rural America,” said Vilsack.
“China is a vital market for US agricultural products, and this new office will help exporters take advantage of rising per capita incomes and steady economic growth in the region by raising the profile of American agricultural and food products.”
The opening of this Agricultural Trade Office on mainland China marks USDA’s expansion into the dynamic hub of northeast China and reflects the Administration’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double American exports in the next five years.
It also represents a significant hallmark as the United States progresses from the major market centres of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, to up-and-coming emerging city markets like Shenyang and Chengdu.
China is the world’s second largest economy behind the United States and the second largest market for US agricultural exports, importing roughly $13 billion worth of US agricultural products in fiscal year 2009.
USDA recently announced that it was raising the forecast for agricultural exports for Fiscal Year 2010 to $107.5 billion, the second highest year on record and an $11 billion increase over last year.