A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, signed in Bucharest, Romania in June 2015, establishes the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (APACCCEEC). APACCCEEC is pursuant to Article 60 of the Law on Administration of the Republic of Bulgaria as a legal entity which is a secondary budget administrator under the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The APACCCEEC’s operation is formed by a subsidy from the Republican budget of the Republic of Bulgaria through the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forest of the Republic of Bulgaria, own-source revenues and donations. China and the CEE countries do not pay membership fees or other fees to the APACCCEEC.
The Activities of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and CEE Countries deepen and strengthen the cooperation in agriculture between China and the CEE countries on a mutually beneficial basis through sharing ideas, exchange of good practices and research for innovative solutions. Such cooperation broadens the horizons of the countries, helping them to find a sustainable model of agriculture, as well as to promote the development of trade in agricultural and food products between them.
The Association assists in strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation between China and CEE countries in the field of agriculture and food by identifying and selecting its key areas and by stimulating efficient interaction between economic entities of the countries. The Association is a platform for planning and promoting the implementation of practical cooperation between real entities in agriculture – associations and companies engaged in agriculture, harvesting and processing of produce, manufacturers of food, beverages and equipment for agriculture, traders and investors in those fields.
In order to promote the further development of trade relations in the agricultural sector between China and the CEE countries, the Association assists in opening of National Pavilions of CEE countries in the Shanghai and Hangzhou Free-Trade Zones as permanent trading platforms. On November 24, 2017 was opened the first “17+1 e-Commerce Logistics Hub and Pavilion for Agricultural and other Products” in Trakia Economic Zone, Plovdiv City, Bulgaria. The “17+1 e-Commerce Logistics Hub and Pavilion for Agricultural and other products” – Yantian Port, Shenzhen, PRC is the analogue of the “17+1 Logistics Hub and Pavilion for agriculture and other products” – Bulgaria. A Framework Agreement was signed between the APACCCEEC and “Shenzhen Yantian Port Group Co.” Ltd for cooperation in the field of e-commerce logistics and exhibitions. The “16Plus1Cloud” (www.16plus1cloud.org) is a digital online platform for the consolidation of products from China and the CEE countries. The Platform complements the “17+1 Logistics Hub and Pavilion for agriculture and other products” – Bulgaria and the “17+1 e-Commerce Logistics Hub and Pavilion for Agricultural and other products” – Yantian Port, Shenzhen, PRC.
The Liaison office of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and the CEE countries was opened in November 2018. It is located in the China (Ningbo) – Central and Eastern European Countries Youth Innovation Center. An equipped demonstration space – 17+1 Pavilion is available at the Liaison office for displaying samples of agricultural and other products from Central and Eastern Europe.
The “17+1 Demonstration Center for e-Commerce with Agricultural and other Products” was officially opened on February 21, 2019 in the Agricultural University in Plovdiv city, Bulgaria. The Demonstration Center is part of the Project “17+1 Demonstration Agricultural Cooperation Zone between China and the CEE Countries” which was officially launched during the 7th Summit of Heads of Governments of China and CEE Countries in July 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov. The Project is a model of a comprehensive agricultural cycle, from production to its realization on the world markets.
Thus makes possible the promotion of agricultural products from CEE countries which finds a good reception in the Chinese market such as meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, canned fruit and vegetables and juices, honey, mushrooms, wine and alcoholic beverages, mineral water, tobacco and tobacco products, etc.
As regards the Association’s operation as an information link between China and CEE countries, the platform “16plus1Cloud” is setting up cooperation contacts, database exchange and establishment of a contact network between Chinese institutions, organizations and enterprises and their counterparts in the 17 CEE countries, for facilitating business contacts, exchange of information and other matters of mutual interest.
The official website of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation under the Initiative for Cooperation between China and CEE countries http://china2ceec.org provides a single database and is an efficient tool for searching and finding up-to-date investment projects, appropriate business partners, producers and traders from all the fields of the agricultural sector. Through the single database, the contact points of the network of all 18 countries exchange information and disseminate offers for business cooperation. The single database helps encouraging the trade in agricultural and food products by providing timely information about the trade fairs and agricultural exhibitions traditionally carried out in China and CEE countries.