China is going to open its market to Belarusian beef, BelTA learned from Alexei Bogdanov, Head of the Central Office for Foreign Economic Activities of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry.
Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats met with Zhi Shuping, Minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China, on 15 May.
An agreement on allowing Belarusian beef sales in China was initialed during the meeting. Once several formalities are taken care of, the agreement will be signed as part of the official visit of the Chinese food quality oversight agency head to Minsk on 7-12 July, said Alexei Bogdanov.
Specialists of the Chinese food quality watchdog audited four Belarusian meat-processing enterprises in October 2016. As a result of the audit the four enterprises adjusted their manufacturing processes and veterinary documents to match Chinese requirements.
The work has been finished and the results fully satisfy the Chinese side. Belarus is the largest beef exporter in the post-Soviet space. The country exports over 135,000 tonnes of beef per annum. It is the world's seventh largest cooled beef exporter.
In 2016, Belarusian beef was exported to ten countries.
Mr Bogdanov said: "Once the Chinese market is open, we will be able to greatly diversify our export. Prices for beef are rather high on the Chinese market.
"Certainly, a lot of work has yet to be done to build retail chains with Chinese partners. We intend to export about 20,000 tonnes of beef to China within one year. The certification of Belarusian poultry factories will be the next step on the part of the Agriculture and Food Ministry."