21 Jun 2023 19:36

Philippines suggests forming joint ventures with Russia for processing agricultural products - Agroexport

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) - The Philippines is offering Russia not only mutually beneficial trade in agricultural products, but also the creation of joint ventures for the processing of agricultural products, a press release from the Agroexport center said following the plenary session of the business mission of Russian exporters of agricultural products in Manila.

The mission was organized by the Agriculture Ministry and the Agroexport Center.

"We have over 700 plants that process agricultural products. If Russia supplies raw materials, we could agree on creating a mutually beneficial partnership to supply ready-made goods to the market," Bianca Pearl Sykimte, director of the export-marketing bureau of the Philippine Department of Industry and Trade said, as cited in the press release. She noted that the republic is in the top 15 most attractive countries for investment.

The turnover of agricultural products between Russia and the Philippines in 2022 increased 14% [to $72.2 million], Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Levin said. However, Levin noted, the potential for mutual trade is much higher.

Russia can become a major supplier of agricultural products to the Philippine market, in particular, meat and grain, Dmitry Krasnov, head of Agroexport, said. From 2018 to 2022, the Philippines tripled its meat imports to $2.4 billion. Almost half of the imports, 44%, are pork, followed by beef at 29% and poultry meat at 22%. "In order to take advantage of this existing potential, it is necessary to remove restrictions on the supply of Russian meat products to the Philippines," Krasnov said.

From 2018-2020, Russia actively supplied grain crops to the Philippines, Krasnov said. "Given the growth of grain imports by the Philippines of 60% in physical volume over the past 5 years, as well as a record harvest in Russia last year, Russian wheat exporters have every opportunity to ramp up their supplies," he said.

The supply of legumes also has good prospects. In total, the Philippines increased imports by 57% in physical terms in 2018-2022. The main crop is beans (53% of the total) and peas (44%). In recent years, Russia has significantly increased its production of peas.

In total, last year the Philippines imported agricultural products worth almost $21 billion. Wheat accounted for 12% of all shipments, soybean meal 9.2%, palm oil 6.3%, rice 6.1%, pork 4.9%, milk powder 3.4%, beef 3.2%, and frozen fish 2.6%.