2 December 2013
40th Anniversary of Collaboration between
the People’s Republic of China and FAO
Mr. QU Si Xi, special representative of the Minister of Agriculture of China, His Excellency HAN Changfu.
Your Excellency Mr. XIA Jingyuan, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to FAO,
Professor ZHU Renmin,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is truth in the saying that “If you want to know the future, look at the past!”
China is one of the founding members of FAO and Chinese has always been a language of the Organization.
We have had a long and fruitful history.
Today’s celebration marks the 40th Anniversary of the Collaboration between the People’s Republic of China and FAO.
This has been a two-sided cooperation: FAO works with China in overcoming the country’s national challenges. And China has played a significant role in development and international South-South Cooperation.
China has made impressive progress in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, among other areas, in recent years.
FAO accompanied China in this path. We have provided technical support to over 400 agricultural projects benefitting tens of millions of people across the country.
Starting in 1981, the FAO Investment Centre has assisted the People’s Republic of China with the approval of nearly fifty investment projects for total investments of over 8.3 billion dollars.
Throughout our collaboration, FAO is proud to have witnessed and contributed to China’s tremendous feat of feeding 20 percent of the world’s population with only 9 percent of its arable land and 6 percent of its freshwater.
In 2013, China also saw the tenth consecutive year of increase in grain production.
And one of the country’s biggest achievements has just been reached: China has met the Millennium Development Goal One hunger target.
The latest hunger figures published in the 2013 State of Food Insecurity in the World, SOFI, show that China has reduced by half the proportion of hungry people in the country.
The prevalence of undernourishment fell from 23 percent in 1990 to 11.4 percent in 2013. I want to congratulate China for this accomplishment.
In China´s case, the sheer size of the country makes the results even more impressive.
I am confident that China will achieve even greater success in its rural development and will thus give an even greater contribution to world food security.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the history of China-FAO cooperation, 2008 saw an important milestone: a decided step towards South-South Cooperation through the establishment of a 30 million dollar Trust Fund.
This initiative has involved nearly 1 000 Chinese experts and helped transform lives in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.
It is gratifying for FAO to witness China transforming itself from a recipient to a major provider of technical assistance, development solutions and funding to other nations of the global South.
Building on the successes of this first South-South initiative, a new five-year FAO-China Cooperation program is being developed.
Hopefully, we will soon be able to formalize this new program, that was discussed in my mission to China this year, and is expected to involve investments around 100 million dollars.
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,
“If you want to know the future, look at the past!”
Looking back at what we have done makes me believe there are many more good things ahead of us.
The collaboration between FAO and the People’s Republic of China offers tremendous potential to address future challenges, including the promotion of food security and sustainable development.
My best wishes on this special occasion as a tribute to our outstanding, fruitful and enduring collaboration.
Thank you for your attention.
Xie xie da jia.