Kyrgyzstan: agrifood exporters learn about entering European, Chinese markets

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Supporting the Kyrgyzstan government’s pursuit to unleash the country’s export potential, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducted a one-day workshop on March 14 in Bishkek to discuss with participants how to diversify agrifood exports and to enter the European and Chinese agricultural markets.

The broad range of participants could have a large positive effect on Kyrgyz exports. The workshop was attended by representatives of government authorities, such as the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Industry and Melioration, and various exporters and commercial and agricultural associations.

The workshop was aimed to facilitate the exchange of information among national and international experts, government agencies, and the private sector that might lead to joint action in the future.

Participants worked to identify further actions for the successful implementation of policies and programs to promote the export of agricultural products in Kyrgyzstan.

“Serving as a baseline for today’s workshop are guidelines that FAO developed for Kyrgyzstan in 2017 on its priority export products to the European market and an analytical overview from FAO of the specifics of accessing the Chinese agrifood market,” said Iryna Kobuta, FAO economist.

A number of products from Kyrgyzstan are attractive to consumers in the European Union, including dried fruits, honey, walnuts, and kidney beans. Requirements for the export of these products, along with information about the EU’s agrifood market structure, served as additional topics for discussion.

Participants also learned about the specifics of entering China’s market, especially for animal products, and recommendations will be provided on authorizing national production capacities as exporters of agricultural goods to China.

In 2015, Kyrgyzstan adopted its first plan to improve its competitiveness and realize the country’s export potential for a sustainable economic growth. Since then, FAO and other international partners have been supporting the government in this area. The main concerns are the competitiveness of agrifood products, export support measures, and food quality.

Sergey Kwan

TCA