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PH, RU forge agri trade pact

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THE Philippines is poised to export more agricultural products to Russia, as the two countries have agreed to increase the volume of bilateral trade.

During a recent meeting with delegates of the Russia-Philippines Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Department of Agriculture implored the possibility of bringing the local okra, avocado and calamansi to the Russian markets.

Russia is also looking at importing Philippine bananas, mangoes and pineapple bits and seeks to increase the volume of carageenan seaweeds being imported to the country.

“In behalf of Secretary Manny Piñol, the Department hopes to pursue more agricultural cooperation with your country,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel T. Cayanan.

Alexander Tysbulskiy, co-chairman of the Joint Commission, said Russian companies were keen on exporting grains such as wheat and barley, among others, to the Philippines.

Russia is one of the biggest grain exporters, shipping over 40 million tons of grains every year to different countries.

The Russian delegates said they were also interested in exporting pork, cattle and poultry meat.

“The advantage of Russia, compared to other grain-exporting countries, is your short distance to the Philippines,” Cayanan added.

Cayanan, however, stressed that even with the Philippines’ open-market, Russia still needs to follow and pass restrictions set by the government.

A group of 19 Russian officials and economic leaders met with DA heads to explore possible business and agricultural ties to the country during a meeting last Jan. 26. 


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