Agro-Food Global Value Chains and Farm Policy: the Place of China

Organised by
27 October 2016

This workshop will seek to explore how government policies can best address the opportunities and challenges for economic actors within the agro-food sector that are created by evolving patterns in the structure of GVCs, with special attention paid to China’s place within GVCs.

The sessions will discuss the policy options that allow for agro-food chain participants, including smallholder farmers, to benefit from their involvement in GVCs, while minimising any negative impacts. The event will be structured into two parts: the first exploring the international trade policy underpinnings of participation in GVCs, with the second exploring the role of domestic agro-food policy settings. It will bring together Chinese policy makers, agricultural policy researchers, representatives of the OECD Secretariat, ICTSD, and other international organisations and OECD member countries.

27 October 2016

08:30 - 9:00

Chair: DG level, Department of Cooperation (DOC)/MOA (TBC)

Opening statements:

MOA, Vice Minister (level) (TBD)

OECD, Julia Nielson

ICTSD, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz


Context: This session will explore the current landscape of agro-food GVCs globally, with a focus on China’s place within these chains. The session will explore the source of value of agro-food products and exports and its implications for policy.

Chair: Julia Nielson (OECD)

Presentations (15 minutes each):

  • Landscape of global agro-food GVCs: The place of China – Jared Greenville, OECD
  • Present situation of China’s participation in agro-food GVCs – Tian Weiming, Professor, China Agricultural University

Comment by chair (10 minutes)

Open discussion (40 minutes): All participants

11:00 - 11:15
Coffee/tea break

Context: This session will assess implications of trade openness on GVC participation and development. The session will focus on the effects that trade policies have in determining the gains for industries and economies from their participation in GVCs.

Chair: Cheng Guoqiang, Secretary General of Academic Committee, Development Research Centre of the State Council

Presentations (10 minutes each):

  • The importance of sound trade policies to gain the most from GVC participation – Jared Greenville, OECD
  • Global trade rules for today’s agro-food economy: Towards more equitable and sustainable markets? – Jonathan Hepburn, ICTSD
  • Enhancing GVC participation through reduction of trade costs – Silvia Sorescu, OECD

Comment by chair (10 minutes)

Open discussion (35 minutes): All participants

12:30 - 13:30
Lunch break

Context: This session will discuss the extent and nature of smallholder participation in rapidly evolving global and regional value chains. The session will explore potential impacts of the development of these patterns of economic organisation on smallholders, and examine how governments can best ensure that participation in value chains contributes to smallholders’ benefits.

Chair: ICTSD, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz

Presentations (10 minutes each):

  • Global value chains and smallholder farmers in China – Tang Zhong, Professor, Renmin University of China
  • An example of smallholder farmer production in China: Case study of mountain farming in China – Xu Jianchu, Professor, Kuming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Comment by chair (10 minutes)

Open discussion (60 minutes): All participants

15:00 - 15:15
Coffee/tea break

Context: This session will identify areas in which current trade and domestic agricultural policy measures protect some sub-sectors, but exert taxing effects on other agricultural sub-sectors and on food processing industries.

Chair: Cheng Guoqiang, Secretary General of Academic Committee, Development Research Centre of the State Council

Presentations (15 minutes each):

  • Overview of China’s agricultural policies through the OECD’s Producer Support Estimates – Andrzej Kwieciński, OECD
  • Status quo and outlook for China’s agricultural policies – Zhang Hongyu, Director General, Department of Rural Economic System and Management, MOA
  • Scenario of domestic agricultural policy reform: Impact assessment based on OECD’s Policy Evaluation Model – Shingo Kimura, OECD
  • Responding to global agro-food challenges: Lessons from the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy – Tassos Haniotis, Director, Economic Analysis, DG Agriculture, European Commission

Comment by chair (10 minutes)

Open discussion (including discussion about policy conclusion) (50 minutes): All participants


OECD, Julia Nielson

ICTSD, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz

ATPC/MOA, Ni Hongxing, DG, ATPC

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz is co‐founding Chief Executive of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and publisher of BRIDGES periodicals since their conception in 1997. Currently serves as convener for the E15 Initiative, a joint undertaking of ICTSD and the World Economic Forum (WEF) looking into the future of the global trade system. Non-Executive Director of the Meridian Institute (US) and IP Watch (Geneva), and member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council. Also of the Advisory Group of the Global Commission on Business and Sustainability launched in 2016. Formerly a negotiator on trade, development and environmental matters; co-founder and inaugural Executive Director of Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia. 


Full biography

Jonathan HEPBURN is the Senior Programme Manager, Agriculture at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva. He joined ICTSD in 2006, where he is responsible for the organisation's work on how farm trade policy and rules affect food security, equity and the environment. He has previously worked on development financing as Oxfam International’s representative to the World Bank and IMF in Washington, D.C.; and on trade, development and human rights issues with the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva. He has written on a range of public policy and trade issues, including on development financing, intellectual property rules, climate change, and food, agriculture and biodiversity.

Books edited:

Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Which Policies for Trade and Markets?

Eds. Hepburn, J., and Bellmann, C, (2018). ICTSD, Geneva.


Evaluating Nairobi: What Does the Outcome Mean for Trade in Food and Farm Goods”.

Eds. Hepburn, J., and Bellmann, C. (2016). ICTSD, Geneva.


Tackling Agriculture in the Post-Bali Context: A Collection of Short Essays”.

Eds. Meléndez-Ortiz, R., Bellmann, C., and Hepburn, J. (2014). ICTSD, Geneva.


Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box:Ensuring Coherence with Sustainable Development Goals”.

Meléndez-Ortiz, R., Bellmann, C., and Hepburn, J. (2009). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.


Chapters in books and academic journals


“How Can the G20 Support Trade’s Contribution to a Sustainable Food Future?”

In “How the G20 Can Help Sustainably Reshape the Global Trade System: A Compilation of Analysis”. ICTSD, 2018


“The decline of commodity prices and global agricultural trade negotiations: a game changer?”. 

By Bellmann, C, and Hepburn, J. In "International Development Policy", Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.


“Options for WTO Negotiations on Agricultural Domestic Support”. By Bellmann, C and Hepburn, J (2017).

InAgricultural Trade Interests and Challenges at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires”, eds. Piñeiro and Piñeiro.


Export Competition Issues After Nairobi”. By Diaz-Bonilla, E., and Hepburn, J, (2016).

In Evaluating Nairobi: What Does the Outcome Mean for Trade in Food and Farm Goods”. ICTSD, Geneva.


The Future of Green Box Measures”. By Hepburn, J, and Bellmann, C, (2014).

In “Tackling Agriculture in the Post-Bali Context: A Collection of Short Essays”. ICTSD, Geneva.


“Food security and the multilateral trading system”. Hepburn, J, (2012).

In “The Future and the WTO: Confronting the Challenges”. ICTSD, Geneva.


"The Challenges Facing the Multilateral Trading System in Addressing Global Public Policy Objectives".

With Bellmann, C, and Wilke, M. In "International Development Policy", Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. (Also published in French).


Advancing sustainable development in global trade and multilateral negotiations”.

With Bellmann, C, and Abdel Latif, A. In “International Development Policy”. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. (Also published in French).


Doha Round negotiations on the green box, and beyond”. Hepburn, J, and Bellmann, C, (2009).

In Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.


“Climate Change and Trade: Key Challenges and Options for Agriculture in Small Developing Countries”.

With Gueye, M.K, Sugathan, M. and Chamay, M. (2009). In Climate and Trade Policies in a Post-2012 World. UNEP, Geneva.


Other research and analysis:

Achieving Progress in Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture"

ICTSD policy brief (2018). ICTSD, Geneva. (Also published in French, Spanish and Chinese


""How Can the Argentinian G20 Presidency Support Trade's Contribution to a Sustainable Trade Future?"

ICTSD policy brief. (2018). ICTSD, Geneva.


"What Could WTO Talks on Agricultural Domestic Support Mean for Least Developed Countries?" 

With Bellmann, C, (2017). ICTSD, Geneva.


Negotiating Global Rules on Agricultural Domestic Support 

With Bellmann, C, (2017). ICTSD, Geneva.


Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes : Options for a Permanent Solution

With Bellmann, C, Eckei, J, and Ibañez, A. (2016). ICTSD, Geneva.


"Trade, Food Security and the 2030 Agenda".

With Díaz-Bonilla, E (2016). ICTSD, Geneva.


"G-33 Proposal: Early Agreement on Elements of the Draft Doha Accord to Address Food Security".

With Bellmann, C, Morrison, J and Krivonos, E, (2013). ICTSD/FAO information note, September 2013. ICTSD, Geneva.


"Tackling Perverse Subsidies in Agriculture, Fisheries and Energy".

With Bellmann, C, Sugathan, M, and Monkelbaan, J, (2012). ICTSD information note, June 2012. ICTSD, Geneva.


Climate change and trade on the road to Copenhagen”.

With Gueye, M.K, Sell, M, Sugathan, M, Oliva, M. J, Biswas, T, and Chamay, M, (2008). ICTSD, Geneva.


International trade rules, agricultural production and trade patterns”.

In “Trade and Sustainable Land Management in Drylands”. ICTSD, Geneva.


“Promoting sustainable land management through trade”. 

With Chamay, Kamal, Sugathan, Canigiani, (2007). ICTSD / Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.


Beyond HIPC: debt cancellation and the Millennium Development Goals”. 

Briefing paper, 2005. Oxfam International. Oxford, UK.


Patents, trade and health; Patents, trade and food; and Patents, trade and development”. (with G. Tansey).

Series of briefing papers (2004). Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva.


Negotiating intellectual property:Mandates and options in the Doha Work Programme”.

QUNO Occasional Paper, 2002. Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva.


What did developing countries get in Doha?

With Grace, B, (2001).Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva.


Shorter analytical articles:

“Overcoming malnutrition: Why policies on trade matter”

In Bridges Africa, Vol. 5, No. 8, 18 Oct 2016. (Also published by ICTSD in French and Spanish).


Evaluating agriculture in the Nairobi package”. 

In Bridges Africa, Vol. 5, No. 2, 10 Mar 2016. (Also published by ICTSD in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian).


How can LDCs best advance food security and rural development at Nairobi and beyond?”. 

In Bridges Africa, Vol. 4, No. 9. 11 November 2015. (Also published by ICTSD in French).


“Can the EU's CAP help markets function better, and also improve food security?

Blog post for the E-15 initiative, August 2015.


Negotiations on agriculture: the challenge of updating global trade rules”.

With Bellmann, C. Bridges Africa, Vol. 4, No.4. May 2015. (Also published by ICTSD in French).


“WTO Rules: How Could the G-33 Proposal Affect Food Security?”

With Bellmann, C. In GREAT Insights, Vol. 2 Issue 8, Nov 2013. (Also published by ICTSD in French).


“Farm policy reforms: what might they mean for the WTO?”.

Post on blog “ICTSD on the go”, 30 Sept 2013.


“Farm trade at Rio+20: Towards “the future we want”?”. 

In Bridges Trade BioRes Review, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2012.


Biodiversity: why do farm trade policies matter?”

In Bridges Trade BioRes Review, Vol. 4, No. 3, Oct 2010.


What trade policy framework to address food insecurity?”.

With Bartel, C, (2008). ATDF Journal Vol. 5, Issue 1 / 2, October 2008. African Technology Development Forum, Geneva.


Sensitive and special products. Trade liberalisation: opt-outs for farm products?

In 'Trade Negotiations Insights', Vol. 6, No. 6, October 2007. ICTSD, Geneva, and ECDPM, Maastricht.


WTO Farm Subsidy Talks”.

With Bellmann, C. In IPS-GSI subsidy e-newsletter, 24 Aug 2007.


Green box subsidies: promoting sustainable development?”.

In 'Bridges Monthly', Vol.. 11, No. 4, June-July 2007.


Sustainable land management and trade: are they compatible?

In Bridges Trade BioRes, Vol. 7, No. 3, 16 Feb 2007.


“Special products in agriculture: some empirical evidence”.

With Bellmann, C. and Bartel, C. In Bridges Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 3, May 2006.






Tassos Haniotis is currently the Director of the Directorate for "Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations; Communication" in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission.

He previously held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis unit in the same Directorate General, as Member and subsequently Deputy Head of the Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler (with respective responsibilities for the preparation of the 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the agricultural chapter of the Doha WTO Round and the EU-Mercosur negotiations), and as the Agricultural Counsellor of the European Commission’s Delegation in the United States.

He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia, USA, and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business, in his native Greece. Before joining the European Commission, he spent six months as a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, focusing on EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.

Dr. Ni Hongxing is currently serving as the Director-General of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center under the Ministry of Agriculture of China, which mainly functions as providing policy analysis for China’s participation in WTO and bilateral negotiations on Agriculture. Before that until 2003, Ni worked as the Division Director of International Cooperation Department in the same Ministry, mainly in charge of WTO negotiations on agriculture, as well as FAO/WFP/IFAD/UNDP Projects and meetings/conferences. From 1993 to 1995, Ni was the Second Secretary of Permanent Representation of China to the FAO in Rome. Ni received his education of agricultural economics in Nanjing Agricultural University from 1980 to 1987 and obtained his PhD of AG Economics in China Agricultural University in 2002.

As a member of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate’s senior management team, Ms. Nielson supports the Director in delivering the strategic orientations of the Secretary General to advance the implementation of OECD advice in members and partner countries in the areas of trade and agriculture and to ensure effective engagement with stakeholders and partners both inside and outside the Organisation, including major emerging economies. Specifically, Ms. Nielson leads the work at the interface of trade, agriculture and development policies by providing evidence-based policy advice on a range of policy issues, including trade facilitation, global value chains, the digitalisation of economy and society (DES), agricultural policy reviews for developing countries, food security and risk management.

Ms. Nielson has over 20 years' experience in multilateral trade and development, strategy and management. She previously worked for the World Bank Group (WBG) as acting Director for Multilateral engagement, with responsibility for the G20, G7, multilateral development banks and the OECD; coordinator for a senior management task force on future financing of the WBG; and acting Director of the WBG's Europe office, managing relations with European shareholders, the OECD and the French G20 presidency. Prior to that, she worked in the office of the then-President of the WBG, Bob Zoellick.

Ms. Nielson began her international career in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, serving as a trade negotiator to the WTO with responsibility for intellectual property, customs and development issues. In 2000, Ms. Nielson joined the OECD Trade Directorate, where she worked on trade in services, leading path breaking work on movement of people as service suppliers. Ms. Nielson left the OECD in 2005 to join the Trade Department of the WBG.

An Australian national, Ms. Nielson holds a Bachelor of Arts Hons (1st class) and a Masters in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University.

Andrzej Kwieciński joined the OECD in 1995. Currently he is a Senior Agricultural Policy Analyst in the Development Division of the OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate. He was the main author and team leader of OECD reviews of agricultural policies in China, Indonesia, Estonia, Israel, Romania, Russia and Viet Nam and co-authored reviews of Ukraine and Poland. Currently, he leads the OECD review of agricultural policies in the Philippines and works on agricultural enabling environment indicators for the regional review of South East Asia. His work on China includes an assessment of the rural profile for the OECD review of rural development published in 2009 and a comprehensive review of agricultural policies published in 2005. He has also been a regular contributor of chapters on various countries for the OECD’s Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Reports.

Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. Kwieciński was Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics of Warsaw University and was contributing to the work of various research and advisory bodies advising on Poland’s agricultural policy reform in the context of Poland’s accession to the European Union.

Mr. Kwieciński, a Polish national, has a PhD in economics from Warsaw University.

Jared Greenville is a Senior Agriculture Policy Analyst at the OECD. Jared has a PhD in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economic from the University of Sydney, Australia, and has worked and published on issues of trade and natural resource policy. Prior to recently joining the OECD, Jared worked for the Australian Government Productivity Commission developing medium to long term microeconomic policy advice on a diverse range of issues ranging from Australia’s involvement in bilateral and regional trade agreements, domestic drought support policy to issues related infrastructure policy and the challenges posed by an ageing population.


Shingo Kimura is an Agricultural Policy Analyst at the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate, where he covers agriculture, food security and agricultural innovation policy in China and Southeast Asia. Before joining the OECD in 2007, he had a number of posts in Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. He has a Ph.D. in Development Economics from National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan and Master of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States.

Silvia Sorescu is a Policy Analyst in the Development Division of OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate. She joined the OECD in 2010 and has worked on a variety of international trade and agricultural policy issues. Her main research areas include trade facilitation, agricultural policy and development, as well as aid for trade. In the context of her work on trade facilitation, she has been a core part of the team elaborating the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators for more than 160 countries, as well as identifying and analysing good governance practices adopted by OECD and non-OECD countries in implementing trade facilitation. She also conducted cross-country economic analysis on binding constraints to trade and on the contribution of agriculture to poverty reduction. Ms. Sorescu co-authored OECD reviews of agricultural policies in Indonesia and Colombia and is currently working on evaluating agricultural policy developments in India.

Her experience draws from both an academic and policy-oriented environments. Prior to joining the OECD, she worked as a Research Associate for the World Economy Group, an academic research center at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris), on various trade policy and European Union policy issues.

Ms. Sorescu, a French and Romanian national, holds a Master’s Degree in International Economics from the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Florence Bossard is a Statistician in the Development Division of OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate. She joined the OECD in 2000 and has worked on a wide range of agricultural policy projects. She contributed to various OECD reviews of agricultural policies in several countries such as China, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Israel, Brazil and Colombia. She is currently working on the OECD reviews of the Philippines and Costa Rica and is also evaluating agricultural support in India for the OECD review of India.

Ms. Bossard, a French national, holds a Master’s Degree in International Economics and Finance from the University of Paris I and a Postgraduate Degree (DEA) in International Economics from the University of Bordeaux.

Weiming Tian worked at state farms for eight years before entered Beijing Agricultural University in October 1978. He completed his studies in agricultural economics and received a bachelor degree from Beijing Agricultural University in 1982 and master degree from University of the Philippines at Los Baños in 1986. He was a research staff in the Institute of Agricultural Economics, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences during 1982-1994 and then transferred to China Agricultural University in 1995 as a professor at College of Economics and Management. He has managed over 70 research projects funded by both domestic and international institutions with a special focus on agricultural policy and trade issues in recent years. After retirement in 2013, he continues to serve as associate editor for the journal China Agricultural Economic Review and consulting expert for China Agricultural Trade Promotion Center under Ministry of Agriculture.

Jianchu Xu

World Agroforestry Center

Zhang Hongyu

Director General, Department of Rural Economic System and Management, MOA

Dr.Guoqiang Cheng is Senior Fellow and Director General of Department of International Cooperation, Secretary General of Academic Committee of Development Research Centre (DRC) of the State Council. He enjoys the Special Government Allowances of the State Council, and won the award as the National Distinguished Young Scholar aupported by Chinese National Science Fund. He serves as Adviser for several governments, agencies and he holds concurrent posts as vice chairman of Chinese Association of Grain Economy, vice chairman of Chinese Society of Foreign Agricultural Economy, and adjunct professor of several universities such as Renmin University of China and University of International Business and Economics. Dr. Cheng participated for times in conducting research and drafting agricultural policy documents of Chinese central government. Dr. Cheng completed 6 distinguished years in the mission of China's WTO accession negotiation as a special agricultural advisor to Chinese Chief Negotiator during 1997 to 2001. Dr. Cheng was awarded the Second Prize of National Awards for S&T Progress, Second Prize of Ministerial Awards for S&T Progress, DRC Outstanding Study Report Award, etc.

Dr. Cheng's Research covers areas of agricultural policy and rural development, international economy and global governance, multilateral and bilateral negotiation.


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