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Russia calls on ASEAN to boost agriculture exports

August 28, 2014, 12:48 UTC+3 NAYPYIDAW
Trade turnover between Russia and the 10-member ASEAN bloc topped $17.5 billion last year
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A Chinese farmer harvests corn

A Chinese farmer harvests corn

© EPA/WU HONG

NAYPYIDAW, August 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has called on Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to increase exports of agricultural products to the Russian market as Moscow seeks to fill gaps resulting from its food embargo on imports from the West.

The ban, announced on August 7, bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway for 12 months in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over events in Ukraine.

Combined with other import bans imposed earlier this year, the new trade measures cover western imports worth $9.1 billion in 2013, according to Russian customs data.

“I would like to draw your attention to the opportunities opening for ASEAN countries to supply agricultural products to Russia, particularly fresh vegetables and fruit,” Ulyukayev said on Thursday at ASEAN-Russia senior economic officials' consultations in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw.

“We are familiar with high quality standards for agricultural produce in your countries and we will welcome exports of your products to Russia, including nuts, beef, pork and poultry,” he said.

Trade turnover between Russia and the 10-member ASEAN bloc topped $17.5 billion last year, the minister said.

“This year, we have already topped that figure. And at the end of 2014, we expect a six-percent increase year-on-year,” he said, adding that Russia and ASEAN countries should strive to develop investment co-operation.

“Russia’s aggregate investments to ASEAN countries stand at $1.6 billion today and they can be much higher,” Ulyukayev said, noting that Russia planned to invest about $20 billion in projects with Vietnam and about $7 billion with Indonesia.

ASEAN is an international political and economic organisation founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Brunei) and Vietnam.

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