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BelAgro 2016: Belarusian food exports set to rise?

Timed specifically to the 3rd Forum of Belarusian and Russian Regions is the main exhibition of Belarus' agro-industrial potential BelAgro 2016. It opened in Minsk on 7 June. In 2016 BelAgro attracted a record number of participants - more than 500 companies from 20 countries. 

In 2015, farmers in Belarus earned $4.4 billion.

Yevgeny Vnukov, deputy director of a company for the production of agricultural machinery (Belarus):
People turn to us from Barnaul and Voronezh and the Krasnodar region. Almost all regions, actually. Now, thanks to logistics and the single customs area, it is very easy to ship goods, the more so because we are making import-substituting products.

Every tenth fair booth is from Russia. This detail characterizes the entire model of export of Belarusian agriculture. Belarus trades with many countries, but it is the Russian Federation Belarus is working closely with.

Igor Kononchuk, director of a dairy holding company (Belarus):
We have acquired a few good partners and made specific product supply transactions, not one-off but long-term ones. It is evident that the Russian Federation is an interesting area for us, because this cooperation has lasted for decades.

The Russian parliament’s upper chamber speaker Valentina Matvienko visited the expo, too. Her counterpart from Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich held a small tour for her. The two officials also met officially on June 7.

The exhibition BelAgro is a good platform for business contacts.

Anna Lyagunskaya, foreign economic activity specialist of an agricultural enterprise (Belarus):
The main foreign partners are, of course, Russia and Poland. Fresh berries and cranberries are also sold to England. Now we are working for future supplies with Germany and Italy. We cooperate directly with Moscow. 

BelAgro will be open until Friday June 10. In addition to master classes and exhibitions of agricultural equipment and machinery you will also be able to taste Belarusian products.

Andrei Kirienko, organizer of a tasting contest:
Anyone from a minister to a student and a retiree can taste these products.  We have a completely open system of voting. Everyone can see how people cast their votes. And then we will calculate the results.

BelAgro 2016: Belarusian export on the rise