The NPA has welcomed the appointment of a UK Trade Commissioner for China.
Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced that Richard Burn, currently the Department for International Trade’s director general in China, would become the first person to take on this new role. In doing so, he becomes the first of nine UK HM Trade Commissioners to promote the UK in important markets across the world.
The announcement was made as Dr Fox accompanied Prime Minister Theresa May on a visit to China this week, with a delegation of 50 UK businesses.
Trade between the two countries is at record levels, worth over £59 billion annually, with British exports to China growing by more than 60% since 2010. China is hugely important market for the pig sector, with pork exports worth £74m in 2016, 47% up on 2015. UK pork exports to China largely held up in 2017, despite a fall in EU pork shipments.
Mr Burn said China presents ‘unrivalled opportunities for British companies’. “My role as HM Trade Commissioner for China will be to build on the strong links already in place, as we intensify the ‘golden era’ of UK-China trade. My top priority will be to achieve better market access for sectors in which the UK excels,” he said.
In 2015, the Government appointed Karen Morgan as the first UK Agriculture and Food Counsellor in China. Based in the British embassy in Beijing, and supported with significant funding from AHDB, she represents the interests of UK businesses already exporting quality British food and drink produce to China, and firms looking to open new trade links.
NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford welcomed the appointment of Mr Burn. “This is great news for the British pig industry,” she said.
“This will build on the fantastic work done so far by Karen Morgan. China is an extremely important market for UK pork, not just in terms of volume but because, as well as high value cuts, it also provides an outlet for ‘fifth quarter’ parts of the pig which have little value in Europe.
“There is plenty more opportunity for trade and it is important to have all the contacts in place to realise that potential.”