The promotion of Polish food and the opening of the Belarusian market for Polish food producers – these are the most important issues discussed during Tuesday's visit of Undersecretary of State Ryszard Zarudzki to Minsk.
Photo. Undersecretary of State Ryszard Zarudzki at the opening of the PRODEXPO fair in Minsk
The main purpose of the visit was to take part in talks on the prospects for the development of Polish-Belarusian cooperation in the area of plant cultivation and fruit and vegetable processing. The meeting was a joint initiative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Krzysztof Jurgiel and the Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus Leonid Zajac.
– Together with the Belarusian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Vladimir Grakun we have discussed matters related to the abolition of barriers for Polish producers, both in terms of exports and investment – said Polish Deputy Minister during a presentation of Polish food under the "Flavours of Europe – Quality and Tradition" Programme. It is a three-year programme for the promotion of food products from the EU, produced using traditional methods, in line with quality systems in force in the Community.
Ryszard Zarudzki informed that the discussions focused on the possibility of exporting Polish mineral feed without the need for veterinary certificates, as well as facilitating the sales of beef and pork on the Belarusian market.
Deputy Minister Grakun assured that Belarus is ready to abolish the restrictions on importing ruminant animals and their genetic material from Poland, as well as boneless beef, provided that Poland's status on the risk of BSE's spread will change from a "country with controlled risk" to a "country with negligible risk". With regard to the regionalisation of Polish territory in connection with the occurrence of ASF, the Deputy Minister stressed that this issue should be agreed between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. He further asserted that it is possible to import mineral feed into Belarus without a veterinary certificate if one possesses a document that certifies its quality and safety.
Belarus is the largest recipient of Polish food products outside the European Union – This year the turnover reach 244 million euro. It is one of our major trading partners – said Ryszard Zarudzki and added that Poland is interested in investing in the food industry in Belarus. At the same time, Polish entrepreneurs and investors need guarantees that secure against financial and investment risk.
As part of yesterday's visit to Minsk, Ryszard Zarudzki participated in the official opening of the Prodexpo food fair. The Minister was accompanied by the President of the Agricultural Market Agency Łukasz Hołubowski and Ambassador Konrad Pawlik.