China will draw upon both domestic and international resources and markets to ensure food security, says Han Jun 韩俊 Central Rural Work Leading Group Office director, marking a new model for opening up agriculture. Foreseeing continued food consumption growth for the next 20 years, Han observes that trade in agricultural products has eased pressure on the environment and resources, guaranteed grain supply and ensured stable market prices, despite some negative impacts on the domestic industry.

The domestic market will become increasingly open to agricultural trade, Han says, with policy efforts focused on how to promote trade while protecting the domestic industry and farmers’ interests. Expanded production and export of agricultural products where China has a strategic advantage will be a key aspect of that strategy.

Han points out that agricultural product imports are highly concentrated, with 70 percent of agricultural product imports originating in the US, Brazil, ASEAN, EU and Australia. Though growing rapidly, Belt and Road countries only account for 20 percent of total ag imports. Improving trade policies and expanding import channels with Belt and Road countries is a top priority, says Han, along with Chinese businesses ‘going global’. As China increasingly opens to agricultural product trade, internationally-competitive grain traders and agricultural group companies are needed. Han further advocates active engagement to build better and fairer systems for agricultural trade and global grain security governance.