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China Pledges to Open Agricultural Sector Wider

President Hu Jintao said in Beijing Wednesday that China will open wider its agricultural sector to the outside world in a bid to develop agriculture and the rural economy.

Hu said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the ministerial conference of the 27th FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Regional Conference for Asia and Pacific that China will actively cooperate with other countries in developing agriculture.

"We will pay particular attention to exploring and developing new ways, means and approaches of cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region with the aim to achieve reciprocal results and benefit people of the whole region," he said.

The Chinese president said countries in the region should make unremitting efforts for the development of agriculture and rural economy, and conduct cooperation on the basis of seeking common ground while reserving differences, learning from each other, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

In addition, Hu proposed countries in the region enlarge opening, lower tariffs and eliminate trade barriers.

The FAO conference, whose senior officials meeting wound up Wednesday, has touched upon topics ranging from the growing of rice, change of weather, food security and rural development, among others.

Ministerial-level delegations from 35 FAO members in the region and organs of the UN attended the conference.

China has been a big agricultural producer and big agricultural products consumer. Hu said the development of China's agriculture is of vital importance to the country's economic growth and social stability as well as world economic growth and food safety.

He said China will increase support to the development of agriculture and upgrade the infrastructure construction in the rural area.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2004)

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