April 3, 2013
Belarus aims to set up dairy processing joint companies with Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
First Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus Leonid Marinich told an online conference on March 29.
A group of Belarusian specialists paid a visit to Vietnam to discuss the issues related to opening joint ventures on production of dairy products. "Our products will be exported in the form of milk powder, restored and sold as dairy products in Vietnam," Leonid Marinich said.
Belarus is also working hard on gaining strong foothold on the market of Kazakhstan. The country is a regular consumer of Belarusian dairy products, especially milk powder and canned milk. "We are currently in talks with our partners on the construction of a dairy plant in Kazakhstan. We are also looking into the opportunity of setting up a joint company for milk production. The same scheme planned for cooperation with Vietnam will be applied here," the official said.
Over the past three years Belarus has developed good relations with Georgia in the sector and exports there dried skimmed and whole milk, and butter. Belarus also increases milk supplies to Venezuela. The country is looking for opportunities to supply dairy products to the African states.
The First Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister explained why it is important for Belarus to diversify its dairy exports. Today Belarus sells into 50 countries, with the Russian Federation being the main importer accounting for 93% of Belarus' total dairy exports. Russia, however, have ambitious plans of developing its dairy production to 32 million tonnes by 2020. As a result Russia will need only six million tonnes of milk additional, while Belarus sells there today over four million tonnes of dairy products.
With this, Belarus also sets forth a goal to increase its milk production to 10 million tonnes by 2015. Today the country produces 6.5 million tonnes of dairy products. "Thus, we will have extra 4-5 million tonnes of milk under our development programme and we need to sell it. That is why the issue regarding the search for new markets is topical for Belarus today, and we have been actively working in this direction for the last three years," Leonid Marinich said.