Belarus, Afghanistan plan to establish joint food processing ventures

MINSK, 17 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Afghanistan plan to set up joint food processing ventures, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry.

Belarus' Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats held talks with an official Afghan delegation in Minsk on 17 February. Members of the delegation invited Belarus to establish joint food processing ventures in the territory of Afghanistan and develop joint brands. It was suggested that Belarus could supply to Afghanistan flour, beef, poultry meat, and dairy products, the press service said.

Besides, Leonid Zayats invited the Afghan side to work together to organize training of students from Afghanistan at Belarusian agricultural universities and also advances training courses for specialists in all fields of agricultural production.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding in matters related to cooperation in agriculture. The Afghan delegation confirmed their participation in the international expo Belagro 2017.

Apart from that, the delegation showed interest in implementing joint mechanical engineering projects.

In 2016, the trade between Belarus and Afghanistan totaled $26.4 million, up by 60% from 2015. Belarus exported $15.5 million worth of products and imported goods to the tune of $10.9 million. The country had a trade surplus of $4.6 million. Belarusian agricultural organizations sold $6.4 million worth of products to Afghanistan in 2016, up by 40% from 2015, and imported $10.9 million worth of products (a 25 times increase). Belarus' major exports were oil products ($8.1 million), tractors and tractor units ($6.2 million), pharmaceutical products packed for retail sale ($262,000), and car and tractor parts and accessories ($202,400). Belarus mainly imported fruit (apricots, cherry, sweet cherry, peaches), tomatoes, cabbage and other vegetables (fresh and frozen).

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