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Opinions & Interviews

8 Nov 2016

Koltovich: Belarusian food products are popular in the CIS

Koltovich: Belarusian food products are popular in the CIS

MINSK, 8 November (BelTA) – Belarusian food products are in demand on all the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Minister Vladimir Koltovich told media after the official opening ceremony of the international wholesale food industry exhibition Prodexpo 2016, BelTA has learned.

“Foreign partners like Belarusian products. Russians, Ukrainians and Kazakhs know that the Belarusian quality is high, and our products are welcome on all the CIS markets. A great number of exhibitors and guests of Prodexpo shows that Belarusian goods are in great demand,” the minister stressed.

Belarus has been actively diversifying its exports. “Russia is the priority destination. Most of our exports land on this market. Yet, the government has instructed us to diversify the exports. Locally-produced goods account for more than 80% of the domestic market today. In line with the food security concept the imports should not exceed 25%. Thus, food security is ensured in the country,” noted Vladimir Koltovich.

When asked about the situation with payments to suppliers, the minister stressed that this issue has never lost its relevance. “A special commission has been set up in the ministry to deal with the most difficult matters related to payments. Unfortunately, rural retailers are the biggest defaulted debtors today,” he said. Vladimir Koltovich added that this problem cannot be settled quickly. Serious system-based efforts are needed here. Vladimir Koltovich said that the ministry keeps close track of the payments between retail networks and companies.

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.

The program of the exhibition includes the international Bread Showroom. The most beautiful exhibits are the works of the Belarusian prizewinners of the IKA Culinary Olympics 2016 (held once in four years in Erfurt, Germany).

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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