At the negotiations the Russian delegation was led by Sergey Dankvert, Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Chairmen of the Russia-Argentine
Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological
Cooperation on the part of Russia, and the Argentine delegation was headed by
Carlos Bianco, first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the same
Commission on the part of Argentina. As for Argentine party, Débora
Giorgi, Minister of Industry, Carlos Casamiquela, Minister of
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti, Argentine
Ambassador to Russia as well as representatives of different government
agencies and the Embassy took part in the negotiations. The Russian party was
represented by the responsible officials of MFA, Ministry of Economic
Development and Trade, Ministry of Industry and Trade, RF Ministry of
Agriculture and of the Rosselkhoznadzor.
Bianco informed Sergey Dankvert about the establishment of a special commission
in Argentina to explore possible increase of Argentine-Russian trade turnover. The
development of bilateral relations was greatly stimulated by the visit of
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, to Argentina. Also they are continuously supported by Cristina
Kirchner, President of Argentina. Carlos Bianco provided Sergey Dankvert
with a set of materials containing proposals on a significant increase of
product export to compensate the volume of food products previously exported
from the EU and the USA to Russian market.
Débora Giorgi, Minister of Industry, explained that a
wide range of animal and plant products could be exported to Russia in the
short term. In particular, she pointed out that Argentina was one of the
biggest milk producers with the production amounting in value to 1.7
billion dollars per year. Within a short period of time the country became the
largest milk producer in Latin America and the 7th world largest milk powder
exporter. Annually Argentina produces 700 thousand tons of poultry taking the 9th
place in the world in this category of goods. To add to this, Argentina is
ready to export poultry feed, vaccines and genetic materials. Also, it is ready
to increase the volume of vine exported to Russia. Currently Argentine vines
are exported to 125 world countries. Argentina is the 6th largest exporter of
vines and vine materials. Moreover, Argentina exports its high quality pasta to
79 world countries, amounting in value to 300 million dollars per
year. Argentine chocolate, biscuits and other confectionery products can also
be exported to Russia.
Taking into account the objectives set by Russian President
concerning the development of domestic agricultural sector Argentina is ready
to export its breeding animals and high quality genetic material – embryos and
Débora Giorgi made a detailed explanation of
possibilities to expand Russian-Argentine cooperation in the sphere of power
industry. According to her estimates not less than 400 Argentine enterprises in
this sector are interested in Russian technologies and equipment.
Carlos Casamiquela, Minister of Agriculture,
Livestock and Fisheries informed Sergey Dankvert about the transformation
processes in the agricultural sector of Argentine economy. Currently more than
300 million ha are cultivated which enables to harvest more than 100 million
tons of grain. Argentina is the 7th largest soy producer and the 1st largest
soybean oil exporter. Argentina is a big exporter of fruits – mainly citrus
fruit, apples and pears. Besides, large amount of fish and seafood products can
be exported. Export of seafood is estimated at 15 billion dollars per
year. Also Argentine exporters are interested in supplying pork, finished meat
products and high quality beef. Argentina is interested in obtaining a quota
for poultry meat, previously provided to the European Union.
Carlos Casamiquela pointed out that the amount of
produced products per year would be enough to feed 400 million people and the
population of Argentina is not more than 40 million people.
Sergei Dankvert mentioned that the meeting was of particular
importance in the run-up to the IGC meeting scheduled for this September. He
marked a substantial coincidence of mutual economic interests and progress in
cooperation during the last decade. Russia had always had fairer relationships
over the supply of food products from Latin America than from either the US or
Europe, because in the former case subsidies did not distort the market. The
WTO founding countries took credit for the strong points, in particular for
supporting their producers, the countries that joined it later did not have.
Sergey Dankvert pointed out that in the current situation
Argentina could start to export their cheese, in particular, to the Russian
market. It is noteworthy that the EU used to export 260 thousand tons of cheese
to Russia per year and the proportion of high quality cheese was not more than
10 thousand tons. There is also large Russian market demand for milk powder and
butter. There was a quota system in Europe which helped to control production
and price level. Thus, it was difficult for Argentina and other countries to
enter Russian market with their products. Besides, such competition affected
Russian milk producers’ interests. Sergey Dankvert indicated that Russian
processors were interested in all supplied milk products, including skimmed
milk powder, whey powder, milk fat, etc.
There is a great opportunity to export Argentine fish and
seafood products to Russia, particularly taking into account the fact that not
only traditional fish such as mackerel can be but also exotic fish such as
silver hake. Of interest are Argentine shrimps. Argentine food products are in-demand
on the Russian market. The export of cheese and cottage cheese over the first
half of the previous year accounted for 2.5 thousand tons while in the first
half of the current year it has already reached 7 thousand tons. Export of
condensed milk and cream tripled and export of butter doubled over the same
period of time.
The CU model Veterinary Certificate can be used for export.
Supplies of regulated products could increase in the shortest time possible,
Sergey Dankvert said. Food safety is ensured by the long-term cooperation
between the Rosselkhoznadzor and the Argentine National Food
Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) which is familiar with the CU and
Russian food safety standards and requirements. A bilateral document on the
terms of beef export was prepared for signing. Speaking about the possible
increase of poultry meat export to Russia Sergey Dankvert pointed out that it
could comprise more than a half of the volume previously exported by the USA.
The Rosselkhoznadzor is ready to consider proposals and Argentine guarantees on
the expansion of the list of enterprises interested in export of animal
products to Russia within the shortest possible time. To start the work SENSA
shall send an official letter with its proposals and guarantees to the
Great opportunities are opening up for Argentine companies
which will export fruit and vegetables to Russia. It was noteworthy, Sergey
Dankvert said, that the EU countries exported more than 1 million tons of
apples and pears per year. Taking into account efforts on pesticide residue
control in plant products taken by SENSA during the last 5 years, Argentine
fruit and vegetables are more preferable in relation to their safety.
The International agricultural exhibition World Food held in
September will be an ideal platform for relation establishment and signing
long-term contracts on all types of food products.
The parties also discussed the improvement of logistics for
large-scale supplies from Argentina to Russia. Special attention was paid to
the organization of direct marine supplies. Sergey Dankvert emphasized the
efforts made by the Russian party on the improvement of port and warehouse
Also the parties discussed participation of banks and
insurance companies in product export from Argentina to Russia.