Friday, 10 October 2014

Pambazuka - Russian markets attracting African exporters

Pambazuka - Russian markets attracting African exporters

The Russian market has always been attractive for many Western and European countries, which have exported their agricultural products including fruits and vegetables for high profits. But that has changed recently as the United States, Western and European Union members have slapped Russia with sanctions for the political developments in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

Russia has also imposed reciprocal sanctions and introduced restrictions on the import of certain food and agricultural products from the European Union (EU), the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway. The products include meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, oils and other commodities.

In their recent remarks, the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov and Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev have pointed to the possibility of finding alternative sources for the aforesaid commodities by replacing European markets with markets in other countries. Russian authorities have been looking for potential agricultural products exporters in Latin American, Asian and African regions.

South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco have shown their preparedness to cooperate and are still looking at the possibility to boost exports of agricultural products especially fruits and vegetables to the Russian food market to help fill in the gap after sanctions have severely limited food imports from those foreign countries.



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