11 Oct 2018 13:00

Russia needs foreign investors to boosts agricultural exports to volumes required - AgMin chief

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) - Russia will not able to boost food exports without private investment; both Russia and foreign, the head of the Russian Agriculture Ministry Dmitry Patrushev said.

"Of course, for us to boost exports to the volumes that we need, we need Western investment. Naturally, the level of state support that there is very substantial, but without funds from investors, whether this is Russian or foreign investors, we of course, we will not complete the task of increasing the commodity weight we export," Dmitry Patrushev said, speaking at a working breakfast as part of the Golden Autumn agricultural exhibition.

"Russia is a country that very readily accepts foreign investment. The most important thing is that these investments are usually paid back quickly. From the point of view of agriculture, we probably are one of the leading countries, one of the best countries. We have a lot of land, we have a number of good regions, a good climate for the agricultural industry, for farming," the minister said.

"Russia increasing exports will also enable other countries, other investors that are interested in investing in Russia to earning certain profits, earn certain bonuses," Patrushev said.

In accordance with the President's May Decree, agricultural exports should rise to $45 billion by 2024 from $20.7 billion in 2017.

Patrushev previously forecast that exports of Russian agricultural produce would reach $23 billion this year, rising to an expected $24 billion next year.

Russian Export Center CEO Andrei Slepnev said that one of the key tasks in developing agricultural logistics. "According to international data, every day of downtime for goods at the border is minus 10% of agricultural exports. Accordingly, the speeding up of logistics is a key issue," he said, speaking at the working breakfast. "What the Russian Export Center is doing, together with the ministry, together with Russian Railway is express freight trains," he said. The first of such train was launched from Vorsino to China in 2016, there are currently three routes; from Novosibirsk and from Krasnodar Territory.

"The effect is firstly, delivery times are cut by about half, and the cost by about three-four times, simply due to the integrated configuration of these trains. If we are now able to integrate this into the return circulation of these wagons as part of our talks with our Chinese partners, then we could get even more benefit," Slepnev said.