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Belarus, Bangladesh considering joint dairy products manufacturing

MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Bangladesh are considering the possibility of manufacturing dairy products together using Belarusian raw materials in Bangladesh. The information was released by Mr Vasily Kazakevich, Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus, on 27 February, BelTA has learned.

Vasily Kazakevich remarked that after the visit of the Belarus government delegation led by Prime Minister Mr Mikhail Myasnikovich to Bangladesh avenues of cooperation with Bangladesh have been determined and measures have been worked out. One of them involves cooperation in agriculture.

Setting up a joint venture to manufacture dairy products using Belarusian raw materials in Bangladesh has already been discussed with the large dairy company Milk Vita. The company accounts for about 70% of Bangladesh’s dairy products output. “We asked to find partners for us, businessmen, who could participate in such a project,” said Vasily Kazakevich. “Meetings with potential partners have been held. After returning we have set up a working group in the Agriculture and Food Ministry, has chosen Minsk Oblast for cooperation with Bangladesh, in particular, Slutsk Cheese Factory”.

In January 2013 the working group visited Bangladesh. Negotiations with interested business bodies to discuss the establishment of the joint venture were held. Interaction with the Bangladeshi side in the area of animal breeding was discussed, Belarus’ assistance in setting up a veterinary medicine lab was offered. The Belarusian side presented designs of dairy farms and modular milk-processing factories, and expressed readiness to render technical aid and outfit the farms with Belarusian equipment.

In February potential partners from Bangladesh came to Belarus, including the director of the company Fialka Ltd. The establishment of a joint enterprise was discussed with them as well. Vasily Kazakevich added that Fialka Company Director Mr Ashiq Imran had studied in Belarus and therefore the sides were able to come to terms easily. The delegation visited the Meat and Dairy Industry Institute, the Slutsk cheese factory, and dairy factory No. 1 in Minsk. After the meeting a protocol was signed to reflect the main arrangements and avenues of cooperation. The sides agreed to send a container loaded with Belarusian dairy products to Bangladesh in order to study the demand for the products and preferences of the partners.

A Bangladesh delegation is expected to visit Belarus in March. There are plans to continue discussing the establishment of a joint milk-processing enterprise.

Speaking about the overall importance of the Asian market, Vasily Kazakevich remarked that Vietnam’s looked attractive. The Prime Minister of Belarus has issued an instruction to implement projects with this country. A partner is being sought in Vietnam to set up a joint venture, with 500kg of Belarusian milk powder shipped already. The Belarusian raw material was examined in a lab in Vietnam, a dairy factory used it to make dairy products such as yogurts and sterilized milk. The products were examined and proved their high quality. The Vietnamese side showed its interest in the merchandise. Belarus now waits for Vietnamese experts to arrive in April to discuss the establishment of a joint venture.

The legal base for Belarus-Bangladesh relations has been created. In May 2012 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry of Bangladesh to stipulate cooperation in agriculture and food. The memorandum creates the necessary legal framework for cooperation between the agrarian ministries of the two countries, for establishing and promoting business ties, creating new distribution chain entities of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry. In November 2012 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the governments of Belarus and Bangladesh in the area of quality and safety guarantees for water-based biological resources, aquaculture objects and derived products imported from Bangladesh. In particular, the document guarantees that the required quality standards of biological water resources and seafood will be observed.