Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has said China is a "key market for agri food growth" in Northern Ireland.
She made the remark following a meeting with members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at Stormont.
The delegation are visiting Northern Ireland this week to learn more about agricultural research & development and its importance in increasing value in the agri-food supply chain.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister O’Neill said: "Agriculture is of vital importance to our economy in the north and I am pleased to have this opportunity to showcase our industry right across the supply chain, from R&D through to technology transfer, and from production to processing and marketing.
"We have a small population so exports are very important to us. I have spoken many times of my desire to build long-lasting relationships with China as I know we have many mutual interests including our commitment to public health, safe food and robust traceability systems. Hosting this influential delegation here in the north is an important building block in this process."
The Minister continued: "China is a key market for agri-products from the north of Ireland. We have a global reputation for safe and wholesome food and the recent launch of the Food Fortress Feed Initiative demonstrates our continued commitment to traceability which is a key component of our export success to date. Hosting the CPPCC here gives us the opportunity to enhance our reputation with China, and contribute towards increased exports, a key recommendation in the Going for Growth report."