Speaking at a practical workshop titled ‘Legal Aspects of Doing Business with China’, which was held as part of the ‘Dialogues’ network session project, Denis Ershov, the head of the Department for International Cooperation of the Analytical Center, noted that Russian products are getting more and more popular in China owing to their good quality and environmental friendliness. "It’s important that we carry on with our expansion in the East, that we study China’s requirements for our products and pay special attention to quality," Mr Ershov believes. "We need to build logistics centers, the lack of which is currently one of the main obstacles to the development of exports to China. Logistics centers would allow us to drastically cut delivery costs."
Russia’s betting a great deal on China as it plans to expand into its food markets. Several months ago experts were already saying that the easiest way to start exporting Russian meat to China would be by starting with poultry, and then following with beef, and that the first deliveries would be on their way late in the year. The project to export pork to China, which major production capacity is to be built for in the Far East, is more complex and is going to take longer to implement.
However, Mr. Ershov does not think exports of Russian poultry to China are likely to start this year. The outbreaks of Asian swine fever and the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Vladimir Region are hardly helping exporters either. It should be noted, though, that nobody is talking about major exports of meat from Russia just yet: it is only this year that Russian producers have begun to feel the oversaturation of the domestic market of chicken and pork. And the current exports of meat to Southeast Asia, Persian Gulf, Africa and some European countries are unlikely to see a significant decline because of an epizootic situation, the expert says.
"Today, only 6% of Russian exports are made up of food products, and in the Russian exports to China the percentage is even smaller at just 3.5-4%," Mr Ershov said. The experts predict cautious growth in Russian exports to China this year by approximately 5% on the last year.