Plenty of opportunities for US, China to collaborate, such as global agri-food solutions

   US President Donald Trump talks with China's President Xi Jinping in their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.
US President Donald Trump talks with China's President Xi Jinping in their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO (XINHUA) - It is encouraging news that the United States and China agreed to restart economic and trade consultations, and ultimately the two countries will cooperate because "it makes sense", said a British business leader.

There are plenty of opportunities for the US and China to cooperate in multiple fields such as innovation and infrastructure, said Mr Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, a business networking organisation dating from the 1950s.

"Ultimately they will cooperate because it makes sense," Mr Perry told Xinhua.

However, the British business leader stressed that whether the agreement lasts depends on Washington's future reaction.

"I think China has handled this very well ... China has done what it should have done in these circumstances. It is America that is frustrated by the lack of strength they found in their position... It depends on how America reacts."

In a fast-changing world, the US needs to reposition itself and cooperate with China, said Mr Perry.

"If they (the United States) reposition themselves, then there will be cooperation between America and China. If they still try to reassert themselves as a superpower, it could become more dangerous," he added.

Meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka on Saturday (June 29), Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed to restart economic and trade consultations between their countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

The two leaders also agreed that the US side will not add new tariffs on Chinese exports, and the two countries' economic and trade negotiating teams will discuss specific issues.

Meanwhile, a US agriculture technology expert has said that the US and China can work together to help address the challenges of food supply and food safety.

 
 

"The demands for solutions to all the problems in food and agriculture industry are so high that everyone has to work on them. So from that point of view, the collaboration between the United States and China is very good," said adjunct professor Larry Taylor at University of Missouri-St Louis.

"There are many things that we can work together to take the pressure off existing challenges," he said, adding that bilateral cooperation can also provide a future for new solutions for getting protein and get the highest yield possible.

Prof Taylor first visited China in the 1970s and has since travelled frequently between the US and China. He has seen a growing interest in partnerships between the two sides in the food-agriculture innovation space.

"When I was at an agri-tech conference in China last October, the interest was very high. There were several hundreds of people. We had separate meetings with the investors who were looking to improve the quality and value of agricultural production," said Prof Taylor.

From the US side, there is also an increasing interest in tapping the manufacturing ability in China to quickly transform technologies into products, said Prof Taylor, also co-founder of The Yield Lab Asia Pacific, an agri-food tech accelerator.

 
 

"The reason we have a special focus on Asia is the size of the farms. In China and other countries, the average size of farm is family-sized farm...so the new best technologies are for the small-sized farms," said Prof Taylor.

According to him, one of the challenges facing small farms is that many farmers lack access to new technology. Therefore, the digital approach to providing them with the best information is one of the big trends, he said.

The interesting part with The Yield Lab, said Prof Taylor, is that many of the technologies developed in Latin America or Asia will work in China and eventually the technologies developed in China will be usable outside the country.