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16 Dec 2015

Prospects for Belarus exports to Russia in 2016 viewed as optimistic

MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – The projections regarding Belarusian exports to Russia in 2016 are very optimistic, Alexander Olshevsky, the Director of the Eurasian International Cooperation Agency, a member of the Russian-Belarusian Business Council, told a press conference, BelTA has learned.

"Russian customers are well familiar with Belarusian products. Contracts are being signed now. The list of products is being expanded. So is the list of players in this market,” said Alexander Olshevsky.

In the wake of Ukraine leaving the market approximately 80% of the market for canned fruit and vegetables, juices, purees and baby food and approximately 30% of the confectionery market are now vacant. "We analyzed the confectionery market and drove at the conclusion that almost all products which were supplied by Ukrainian company Roshen to the Russian market can be replaced with the Belarusian-made analogues which are even somewhere better. We will have no problems replacing the Ukrainian products on this segment,” he said.

With regard to the food industry, the Belarusian manufacturers have big prospects in the premium segment. "This can be, for example, Belarusian meat delicacies, part of which simply did not reach the majority of regions before. Great area of cooperation is the segment of premium-class bread. Restaurant networks would like to buy Belarusian bread made according to ancient Belarusian and Lithuanian recipes. Cheeses, dairy products, poultry are also promising items,” said Alexander Olshevsky. According to him, there is demand for simple things, potatoes in particular. "There are good prospects in part of public procurement, for example, for school meals because traditional suppliers are gone from the market. No one will dare to experiment with this segment of the market. Therefore high-quality Belarusian products have very good prospects," he said.

Alexander Olshevsky also said that interesting niches associated with the supplies from Central Asian countries and China got vacated as well. "For example, this is such area of public procurement as dried vegetables, food mixes with long shelf life for the Defense Ministry. In all cases, contracts were tied to the U.S. dollar. Therefore similar Belarusian products look more attractive in terms of price and quality. The souvenir market segment which was traditionally dominated by China is also vacant now. Great prospects open up for the light industry: uniforms, products for the Russian Railways, hospitality business (tablecloths, napkins),” said the expert

Alexander Olshevsky stressed that the year 2016 can become a milestone for cooperation between Belarus and Russia. "I think that at the end of next year the Belarusian companies will have something to boast about, despite the fact that this year our exports have decreased a bit,” he stated.

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