Companies from Vitebsk Oblast should scale up their operations in China, Vitebsk Oblast First Deputy Governor Oleg Matskevich said during a session of the executive committee, BelTA has learned.
According to Oleg Matskevich, certain commodities enjoy a good demand in China and can offset the drop in exports to Russia. Efforts to boost exports to China should top the agenda of municipal and district authorities, the Meat and Dairy Products concern and other companies located in Vitebsk Oblast. After all, in January-June 2018, Vitebsk Oblast companies exported $4.7 million worth of products to China, up 2.8 times in money terms. This shows stable demand for Belarusian products, although the list of exporters remains small.
Apart from big state-run enterprises, only three private companies from Vitebsk Oblast operate in China. The Meat and Dairy Products concern is too slow in addressing delivery issues. Only two enterprises – Verkhnedvinsk Creamery and Vitba confectionary – started exporting to China in 2018. Their share in aggregate exports in money terms stood at 6.6%," Oleg Matskevich said.
He delved into the work of the Meat and Dairy Products concern as it is the biggest state-run company of the region. Its export growth rate to Russia made up merely 59.4% following the restrictions imposed by the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor). Its exports to other countries are sporadic and do not guarantee stable sales and timely receipt of foreign currency proceeds. As a result, in January-June 2018, the export growth rate of the concern stood at 67.1%. It sold $85 million worth of meat and dairy products, with the target for 2018 standing at $250 million.
"Four enterprises affiliated with the concern have their own commodity distribution networks. However, the share of sales through such networks is insignificant and varies from 5% to 23%; the export growth rate through commodity distribution networks falls behind last' years indicators at all enterprises except for Polotsk Bread Baking Plant. Such a situation is common not only for the concern," Oleg Matskevich said.
Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev also drew attention to the strong dependence of some local enterprises on the export to Russia. "The biggest enterprise of Vitebsk Oblast, Meat and Dairy Products concern, sells 90% of its exports to Russia. What will they do if our meat and dairy products are denied access to the Russian market again? We need to step up efforts to penetrate new markets. It even makes sense to have specialists who will be responsible for the export to this or another country. It is important to cooperate with Belarusian embassies in the countries that promise good export opportunities for Belarusian products," he noted.