November 27, 2018 / 1:49 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-China, Spain sign export accord for Iberian ham - government sources

(Adds details, Xi column in Spanish daily)

MADRID, Nov 27 (Reuters) - China and Spain will on Wednesday sign an accord on the export of Iberian ham to China, a Spanish government source said on Tuesday, in a deal that will include coveted, on-the-bone legs of pork.

The two countries have been negotiating a protocol on the export of pork products from Spain to China since 2016 and the agreement aims to include a wide range of pork products, according to the Spanish agriculture ministry.

The agreement is part of a series of deals to be signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrives in Spain later on Tuesday for a two-day visit as part of a stop off on his trip to a meeting of G20 leaders in Argentina Friday and Saturday.

A broader accord on the Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative” - a wide-ranging development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving global infrastructure projects - would not be signed, the Spanish government source said.

In a column published in Spanish daily ABC, Xi wrote that the aim of his trip to Europe and Latin America was to discuss how to “strengthen the unity of the international community,” which he said was needed “at a time of unprecedented challenges, most of all the growing protectionism and unilateralism.”

Xi made no direct reference in the column to U.S. President Donald Trump, who on Monday said he expected to move ahead with raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

Spanish ham, dry cured from specially-bred pigs, is considered a delicacy in gourmet circles though is often expensive in the few markets outside of Europe that have reached export accords with Spain.

No further details on export deals, which also include the sale of Spanish grapes, were immediately available, the ministry said.

China will also sign a cooperation agreement between its own port of Ningbo-Zhoushan and the Spanish port of Algeciras, the sources said.

The accords include memorandums of understanding between labour and science ministries from the two countries and on increased cooperation within third-party markets, including Latin America and Africa. Agreements on dual taxation will also be signed. (Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Ingrid Melander and David Evans)

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