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Chinese and German Ministers of Agriculture Sign Joint Declaration of Intent: Exchange Program for Young Agricultural Professionals Launched

DATE:2018-07-10       SOURCE:MARA
 
 

In July 9, the fifth round of China-Germany intergovernmental consultations was held in Berlin, Germany. With Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending the signing ceremony as witnesses, Minister Han Changfu and Julia Klöckner, German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, signed a joint declaration of intent on implementing an exchange program for young agricultural professionals. This declaration marks a new step forward in agricultural cooperation between the two countries.

 

During this round of intergovernmental consultations, Minister Han Changfu and Julia Klöckner held the fifth ministerial dialogue. The two sides systematically reviewed progress made in their cooperation in recent years and expressed satisfaction with results achieved. At present, the three mechanisms including the ministerial dialogue, the joint committee of vice ministerial level, and the working group of department or bureau-level  are functioning efficiently. The Sino-German Agricultural Center (DCZ) has developed into a pivotal platform for coordinating bilateral agricultural cooperation. China and Germany have witnessed an unprecedented expansion in their bilateral cooperation in both breadth and depth. For the future cooperation, both sides will endeavor to put into practice the declaration of intent signed. They will advance the exchange program for young professionals by transforming unilateral learning of rural young Chinese professionals in Germany to mutual learning, so as to jointly nurture driving forces for future agricultural development in the two countries.

 

This exchange program is an innovative extension based on a previous program. In his visit to Germany in 2014, Premier Li Keqiang, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, published the Joint Program of Action for Cooperation, which identified agricultural cooperation  as one of the key areas of future innovative cooperation between China and Germany. In March 2015, agricultural ministries of the two countries signed a letter of intent on implementing the Sino-German Trainee Program for young agricultural professionals and announced its launch. Under this program, outstanding young Chinese in the agricultural sector have been selected to study in Germany. Senior training courses that are practice-oriented have been offered to develop Chinese agricultural professionals equipped with international visions and management capacities in order to strengthen agricultural cooperation between China and Germany. Over the past three years of its implementation, three phases of training have been carried out and 36 trainees have been sent to Germany for training. Remarkable progress have been made under this program. There is general agreement among the trainees that advanced concepts and skills for agricultural management acquired in Germany have significantly improved their working capacity, and the program has effectively promoted agricultural cooperation between China and Germany as well.
 

As indicated by the joint declaration of intent, both sides agreed on the success of the Sino-German Trainee Program for young Chinese agricultural professionals between 2015 and 2018. In order to further strengthen agricultural cooperation and capacity building in the areas of agriculture and food, China and Germany announced to co-establish the “exchange program for young agricultural professionals”. Accordingly, from 2019 to 2021, the two sides will send 15 to 20 young professionals to each other country for a period of no more than four weeks of learning and exchanging. In line with the concept of integrating theory with practice in capacity building, a series of activities will be carried out to improve their skills and management capacities for young professionals, including symposia, seminars, visits to agriculture-related institutions, field visits to agricultural enterprises, and exhibitions. The program will be launched in January 2019 and jointly assessed in early 2021. The contents and methods of any follow-up cooperation will be based on results of the joint assessment.
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