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Belt and Road Initiative provides opportunity for Polish orchards

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-15 10:17

WARSAW - As Polish apples have different taste and look and are competitive both in the quality and price aspect, we have great hopes for export to China, Miroslaw Maliszewski, chairman of the Polish Orchardmen Association told Xinhua Monday.

Following the Belt and Road Initiative such as the Chengdu-Lodz express cargo railway service and Zhengzhou-Warsaw rail freight connection, Polish fruit growers are keen to explore the potential of the Chinese market.

In November 2016, the Polish Embassy in Beijing received a confirmation from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the PRC (AQSIQ), approving the export of Polish apples to China.

Polish Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Jurgiel announced on Sunday that Polish fruit growers were ready for export.

"The apples are being exported to China since this month. The Chinese market is very receptive," the minister said, adding that 7 billion zloty ($1.7 billion) have been used in recent years to ensure all Chinese requirements are fulfilled, especially as far as herbicides and plant protection products are concerned.

"At the beginning, it was quite abstract, as China is the world's biggest apple producer. However, we submitted an official application for being allowed to export to the Chinese market in 2014 and a few months ago, an agreement was signed," said Maliszewski.

The agreement was signed in June 2016.

"Polish apples are competitive both in the quality and price aspect in comparison to other imported apples. We hope that our apples might help stimulate the Chinese internal fruit market," Maliszewski added.

Poland is Europe's major apple producer. Majority of Polish apples, around 40 percent, come from the Grojec region near Warsaw. Other regions famous for apple orchards are Lublin Voivodeship and Sandomierz region in southeastern Poland.

Currently, the Polish side is carrying out a campaign aimed at educating Chinese consumers about European apples.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an optimal opportunity for Polish fruit growers, Maliszewski said.

"We hope the Belt and Road Initiative will stimulate trade exchange, allowing not only Polish fruit, but also different groceries, such as meat and dairy products to be present in China. Negotiations are constantly ongoing," Maliszewski said.

"Polish apples being exported to China gives us great hopes for the future," he added. "In future, we hope to export berries and other fruits to China."

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