On 14 April 2023, the DCZ held its first Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting since the launch of the 3rd phase in April 2022 to discuss the future direction of bilateral cooperation. Ms. Cornelia Berns, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation and World Food Affairs at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Political Director of the DCZ gave a welcome address, highlighting the importance of the DCZ as the central platform for Sino-German agricultural cooperation. Mr. PENG Tingjun, Deputy Director General at the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of China, reviewed the past achievements of the DCZ in promoting bilateral exchanges on common issues in the fields of food and agriculture.
The welcome speeches were followed by a presentation of the workplan for 2023 by German Managing Director of the DCZ, Mr. Jürgen Ritter with a focus on the subjects “food security and climate change” as well as addressing subtopics like digitalization, food loss and waste, and seeds. Mr. WANG Geng, Head of Division of European-Central Asian Affairs at the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC) and Chinese Managing Director of the DCZ presented a report on key activities and achievements of the DCZ in the third phase and offered additional comments on the workplan. Following remarks on the workplan by Mr. CHEN Tianjin, Director of the Division of Bilateral Partnership at the Department of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the plan was officially approved by both sides.
Mr. XU Ming, Deputy Director General of the Center of International Cooperation Services (CICOS) of MARA and Ms. Alina Gumpert, Director of the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA) also addressed the audience and shared their perspectives on Sino-German agricultural cooperation in the fields of exchange of young professionals and agribusinesses.
Participants at the meeting stressed the importance for reviving people-to-people exchanges, following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese side expressed hope to continue support for bilateral demonstration projects in the fields of crop production and the exchange of young agricultural professionals. The German side highlighted the need to work together in the face of shared agricultural challenges and to protect global goods such as soil, water, and climate.
The meeting was held on the premises of FECC, where the DCZ office is located, with German participants joining via video link. Ms. Friederike Dörfler, Agricultural Counsellor at the German Embassy in Beijing, attended the meeting on site.