VILNIUS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania expects new export opportunities and bilateral business contacts with China following the 16+1 Agriculture Ministerial and Economic & Trade Forum to be held on May 25 in Vilnius, Bronius Markauskas, Lithuania's outgoing minister of agriculture, said on Tuesday.
"Big Chinese business delegation is coming to Lithuania which includes importers, traders, as well as representatives of food industry. It is not the first Chinese delegation to visit Lithuania, however, new contacts and opportunities are being launched during each of these visits," Markauskas was quoted as saying by local media.
The international meeting of ministers of agriculture on the grounds of 16+1 cooperation framework, involving Central and Eastern European countries and China, will take place during the upcoming International Exhibition for Agriculture and Food Industry "AgroBalt" to be held on May 24-26 in Vilnius.
According to Chen Lin, Economic and Commercial Counsellor with the Chinese Embassy in Lithuania, Chinese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu will lead a government delegation to Lithuania later this month to take part in the Forum. And an agricultural business delegation from China will come along to join the AgroBalt.
Meanwhile, Lithuania will be represented by a new minister of agriculture at the event as Markauskas announced about his resignation back in April amid accusations of misuse of European Union (EU) agricultural funds. Despite his decision to resign, the minister rejected any wrongdoing.
Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite on Tuesday has signed a decree accepting the resignation of Markauskas as of May 14, as well as decree appointing a new minister Giedrius Sturplys.
Sturplys, currently serves as a deputy interior minister, will start his duties as of May 15 after an oath-taking ceremony at the country's parliament, reported news agency Elta.