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8 Nov 2016

Belarus’ food exports projected to total $2.1bn in 2016

MINSK, 8 November (BelTA) – Belarus’ food exports is projected to total $2.1 billion in 2016, Alexei Bogdanov, the head of the main division for foreign economic affairs at the Agriculture and Food Ministry of Belarus, said after the official opening of Prodexpo 2016, BelTA has learned.

“According to preliminary data, in January-October the export growth dynamics was not bad. In monetary terms, the export amounted to 99.3% compared to last year, which is roughly $1.9 billion. At the end of the year we will beat the 100% target. We expect the export to total $2-2.1 billion,” Alexei Bogdanov said. In natural terms Belarus has already increased export (that of meat by 17%, milk by 4%),” he said.

Alexei Bogdanov noted that the majority of enterprises “got stuck” on the Russian market. “They reason that it is easy and simple to deliver products there and thus they do not have to go far. This is a faulted logic. Today we have to think about diversifying our exports and using every opportunity to advance to other markets. Russia has invested a lot in its own production growth. We need to think where to take our products,” Alexei Bogdanov said.

This year Belarus has branched out into two more markets. “So far these have been small amounts, but we are gradually opening up new markets. Entering a new market involves costs: price reductions for market entry, market research, marketing and advance payments. This is not an easy path but we have to take it. If we fail to do this, tomorrow we might be left with the surplus products which we will have nowhere to sell to,” Alexei Bogdanov said.

According to Alexei Bogdanov, good results have been achieved on the African and Asian markets. “For example, we began poultry deliveries under the UN program to Kenya and Niger. Since the beginning of the summer we have delivered 8 containers 26-tonne each. A free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam came into force on 5 October. With the duties being zeroed, we need to work harder to promote our products to that market. A delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko has just recently returned from Vietnam where they discussed supplies of our dairy and meat products to Vietnam,” he said.

Projects with China are actively progressing. “We have certified 34 dairy enterprises in the Chinese market. China’s veterinary certifying authority has recently finished inspecting out meat-packing plants. We expect that following the inspection our businesses will be able to export beef to China. We are also working actively to promote our poultry meat to the EU markets,” he informed.

About 220 exhibitors from ten countries: Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Greece, Syria, Moldova, Georgia, and Italy are taking part in the 22nd international wholesale food industry exhibition Prodexpo running in Minsk from 8 to 11 November.

Prodexpo 2016 has been organized in cooperation with the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry, Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry, Belarus' food industry concern Belgospishcheprom, Minsk City Hall, and the Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies (Belkoopsoyuz).

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