A working meeting of Deputy Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Konstantin Savenkov with Plenipotentiary Minister of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Russia Henry William Short took place on January 24 in Moscow. The representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation also took part in the event from the Russian side.
The parties discussed the prospects of trade, scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and South Africa. In particular they talked about the need to intensify contacts between the competent departments in the veterinary field of the two countries in order to develop bilateral trade in livestock products, as well as to establish interaction between the scientific institutions of the two countries working in the field of protecting animal health from highly dangerous infectious diseases.
It is noted that at present South Africa actively supplies fruits, citrus fruits and wines to Russia, while at the same time being a purchaser of Russian grain. Meanwhile the existing potential in terms of mutual deliveries of livestock products has not yet been realized.
The Rosselkhoznadzor said that Russia is interested in exporting a wide range of such products to South Africa. In 2018 the questionnaire on the assessment of the veterinary service and the system of surveillance of the Russian Federation regarding the health of cattle, pigs, as well as the assessment of surveillance with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy was sent to the South African competent department by the Rosselkhoznadzor.
In addition the veterinary certificates for export of raw hides, fish and fish products from the Russian Federation were sent to South African colleagues for harmonization.
The situation with the supply of animal products from South Africa to Russia is complicated by the epizootic situation. At the beginning of 2018 the Rosselkhoznadzor was forced to impose a number of temporary restrictions on the supply of live animals to Russia and related livestock products due to the registration of highly pathogenic avian influenza, bluetongue, African horse sickness and African swine fever in South Africa. At present the Rosselkhoznadzor is awaiting detailed information on the spread of these diseases and measures taken to combat them from the competent authority in the field of veterinary medicine in South Africa. At the same time the agency is also considering the possibility of conducting an inspection of one of the South African establishments interested in supplying feed and feed additives to Russia. Due to the fact that all of the above issues need to be discussed and a quick exchange of information is necessary to solve them, the Rosselkhoznadzor suggested organizing a videoconference with representatives of the competent department in the field of veterinary medicine in South Africa.
Henry William Short stressed that he would assist in conducting negotiations in such a format and receiving answers by the Rosselkhoznadzor to all previously sent letters. The representative of South Africa also noted that the introduction of topics related to agriculture and fisheries to the work agenda of the 16th meeting of the Mixed Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation between Russia and South Africa, which will be held in the autumn of 2019, can give additional impetus to the development of trade.