USDA opens trade office in Chengdu, China
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened a new trade office in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China province Sichuan.
“Rising per capita incomes and steady economic growth are creating new demand for U.S. foods and beverages in this region,” said Ellen Terpstra, deputy undersecretary for USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, in a statement. “This office will help U.S. exporters position themselves to take advantage of these trends.”
The Chengdu office is the fourth USDA office in China. The other offices are located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The USDA has 102 overseas offices staffed by USDA in 82 countries.
The primary purpose for the USDA trade offices is to help market and promote U.S. agricultural, fish and forestry products, and to assist in trade development. The offices provide a starting point for U.S. companies, cooperatives, farmers and processors interested in exporting.
China imported about $8.2 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products in fiscal year 2007, a record figure according to USDA. Bulk and intermediate products such as soybeans, cotton, hides, meat and poultry accounted for a large portion of that total.
“While U.S. bulk commodities have traditionally fared well in this market — the market for U.S. soybeans and cotton is the largest for the United States — U.S. consumer-ready foods like nuts, dairy products and wine made the biggest gains in 2007 with a 44 percent increase over fiscal year 2006,” the USDA said.