9 Nov 2023 12:08

China to lift import restrictions on Kazakh thermally processed meat

ASTANA. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan's Trade and Integration Ministry has announced that China's Customs Administration is set to inspect Kazakhstan's veterinary services with a view to revoke the current import restrictions on Kazakhstan's thermally processed meat products.

"The Chinese customs authority has signaled its intention to remove restrictions on the import of thermally processed meat products from Kazakhstan," according to the statement following discussions between Kazakhstan's Trade and Integration Minister Arman Shakkaliyev and China's Deputy Head of the General Customs Administration Sun Yuning.

The Chinese customs authority is ready to send experts to Kazakhstan to evaluate the veterinary services overseeing foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza control.

The dates for the restriction lift and the customs mission are yet to be disclosed.

During the talks, the Kazakh trade minister highlighted the strong demand for various Kazakh food products among Chinese businesses, including beef, lamb, chicken, and offal.

"Negotiations for investment cooperation are ongoing, with substantial funds anticipated from Chinese companies in Kazakhstan's meat production for export to China. However, the lifting of current restrictions is crucial for resuming meat product exports," the ministry said.

Additionally, Kazakh camel milk is in demand in China, and there is a potential market for mare's milk exports, pending the development of a national standard in China for these products. Kazakhstan has also expressed readiness to export various crop products, including stone fruit and peas, and lentils, and is looking to boost exports of oat flakes, beet pulp, potatoes, and sunflower and safflower seed meal.

Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin earlier mentioned the country's hopes to restart meat exports to China by the end of 2023. This follows a suspension of beef and lamb supplies in 2021 owing to foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks. Discussions to resume meat trade were held in May with Chinese customs officials. The World Organization for Animal Health has declared five Kazakh regions (East Kazakhstan, Almaty, Turkestan, Kyzylorda, Zhambyl, Zhetysu, and Abay) free from foot-and-mouth disease, subject to vaccination programs.