Belt and Road Initiative Creates Opportunities in Eastern Europe Food Trade at Canton Fair

According to recent report from The China Import and Export Fair, China has increased the number of buyers from Eastern European countries, including 6294 from Russia and 1397 from Ukraine, among the 88,574 Belt & Road buyers who attended, a 14.61% growth since the launch of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the country’s development strategy to boost economic development along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, in 2013.

Posted by Jian Ping Sun on Monday, 7th August 2017

Ukraine’s food trade with China soars since launched of the BRI

Ukraine was one of the earliest countries to support the BRI, having signed a bilateral protocol confirming their participation in associated development projects in 2014. Since then the country has witnessed rapid development in its trade with China, including food goods. 90 percent of corn and 95 percent of sunflower oil imports into China came from Ukraine in 2015. In 2016, China was the second-largest export market for Ukraine with turnover reaching US$ 1.026 billion.

Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of Ukraine in China, Viktor Tanasiychuk, is confident about the prospects for the continued growth of China-Ukraine food trade. He told Food to China that establishing more effective communication between producers and importers should help more consumers learn about Ukrainian food.

Roman Kryvosheyev, CEO of Fialan, who has been attending the Canton Fair since 2012, spoke highly of the positive role that the BRI plays in promoting business between China and Eastern European countries. He commended the strategy as “a new way that should significantly decrease costs and time of delivery from Ukraine to China. “Thus, Chinese consumers will receive the freshest organic food from Ukraine at acceptable prices,” he said.

International food trade promoted at the Canton Fair

Fialan has been introducing premium Chinese goods to Ukraine from 2004 and bringing Ukrainian food to China since 2013. “Canton Fair will help Ukrainian companies to find goods in China and facilitate better Sino-Russian and Sino-Ukraine cooperation,” commented Kryvosheyev.

"Canton Fair gives us a wider range of procurement options and presents opportunities to find more partners as the amount of product categories and exhibits increase," he said.
With more countries within the BRI sphere signing bilateral and multilateral agreements with China, the country’s imported food market is embracing new development opportunities that are commiserate with its growing national spending power.

“230 buyers and food trading, cross-border E-Commerce companies and retailers attended the ‘Global Import Food Promotion’ last year at the Canton Fair,” said Maggie Pu, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Canton Fair. “The fair creates on-site negotiation opportunities for global food exhibitors and buyers so that they can better understand China’s food trade policies and processes.”

“As China having a closer relationships with B&R countries, Canton Fair will continue to offer a great platform and playing key role in helping international food companies to expand their cross-border business.”

About Canton Fair

The China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, is held in Guangzhou twice a year for spring event and autumn event. Established in 1957, the fair is now a comprehensive exhibition with the longest history, highest level, largest scale and largest number of products as well as the broadest distribution of buyer origins and the highest business turnover in China.

For more information, please visit:

Belt and Road Portal

- is a development strategy proposed by China's paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries.

China Import Export Fair

- or Canton Fair is a trade fair held in the spring and autumn seasons each year since the spring of 1957 in Canton, China.

Department for International Trade

- is a United Kingdom government department responsible for striking and extending trade agreements between the United Kingdom and non EU states.
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