In 2014 USDA began its Women in Agriculture initiative as a way to highlight the roles women play in the agriculture industry, from farm to fork to boardroom. The goal is to encourage more women to take on leadership roles in the industry, while inspiring the next generation of young, second career, and socially disadvantaged women to pursue food and agriculture. This trade mission is the next step in increasing women’s leadership through creating important business-to-business connections with foreign counterparts. Although this ATM is targeted at women, men are welcome to apply.
Why Hong Kong and China?
The United States enjoys strong trading relations with both Hong Kong and China. While Hong Kong is a territory of China, it maintains its own legal system and is considered a separate customs territory. China and Hong Kong are also separate members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Both have a strong demand for U.S. food and agricultural products, but represent very different markets with unique challenges and opportunities.
Hong Kong, which is only three times the size of the District of Columbia, has limited land resources and a population of only 7 million people. Due to these factors, Hong Kong relies on imports for 95 percent of its food supply. With the exception of spirits, all food and beverage products can be imported to Hong Kong duty free. Hong Kong’s government provides basic infrastructure and technical support to local agricultural products. It does not provide subsidies and even discourages livestock production due to environmental protection and public health concerns.
China, which is roughly the geographic size of the United States, has a population of over 1.3 billion. Over the last quarter century, China has evolved from an insular, centrally planned economy into a rapidly-growing, market-oriented economy. Since China joined the WTO in December 2001, U.S. agricultural exports to China have increased twelvefold. In 2015, China was the second largest market for U.S. agricultural exports behind Canada, reaching $23.5 billion. Sustained high demand for traditional exports such as soybeans and cotton continues, and demand for high value food, meat, and alcohol products are also surging.
How to Apply
Application Form. Application deadline is July 20, 2016
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