Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay is in China this week for G20 agriculture meetings, and took the opportunity to pitch Canada's food products.

"There's 1.5 billion people here and they want our agricultural products and some of our expertise, so it's pretty important to be here," MacAulay told CBC News from Xian, China.

MacAulay acknowledged that Canada is running a trade deficit with China, but said there's an opportunity to grow agricultural exports, particularly with canola, beef, corn and lentils.

"We have an opportunity to expand and hopefully we will, because the middle class is growing here in China and they want as good food as you and I have," he said.

MacAulay said the G20 talks included meetings on developing more science-based regulations in world agriculture.

With files from Angela Walker