A trade mission to India and Hong Kong ended on a high note for Canadian producers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz secured an agreement in-principle with Hong Kong that immediately expands key export opportunities for Canadian beef and sets out a clear time table to open that market to all commercially significant Canadian beef exports. Ritz also announced the first comprehensive agricultural Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and India, which was signed on Jan. 13. Once Canadian beef exporters meet Hong Kong’s requirements, all commercially significant Canadian beef exports will have access to the Hong Kong market. The Canada Beef Export Federation estimates that the improved access could mean an increase in Canadian beef exports to Hong Kong by as much as $26 million, almost doubling current exports. The Memorandum of Understanding with India creates a framework to expand agricultural trade between the two countries. Currently, Canadian agricultural exports to India are worth $445 million. Ritz secured an agreement to safeguard and expand Canadian pulse crop exports to India that are currently worth $342 million.
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