In order to develop the Russian market for exports of Taiwan agriproducts, the COA has announced that it will hold a “Taiwan Agricultural Products Promotion and Business Matching Meeting” at the Moscow Marriott Hotel on August 21 and 22 of this year (2019). At the meeting the COA will introduce premium Taiwan agriproducts, including fruit, seafood, tea, flowers, vegetables, and processed goods to Russian political leaders, import firms, and professional buyers. The COA overcame customs barriers for this trip, and will lead specialized export firms, young farmers, and representatives of farmers groups to Moscow to engage in business negotiations and business matching with overseas firms, in order to create future commercial opportunities.
Russia is the world’s largest country by land area, and has a population of 150 million people. Because of its unique geographic environment and climate, it is unable to attain self-sufficiency in agriproducts, so it must rely on imports. As the economy has grown and consumption has increased, demand for agricultural and food products has increased as well. In 2017 Russia imported US$28 billion worth of agricultural and food products, with the main imports being frozen food and frozen seafood. Meanwhile the volume of fruit imports has steadily increased over the years, reaching US$5.08 billion in 2018. The COA points out that as the Russian economy has taken a turn for the better, incomes have increased, and there has been a rise in the number of chain supermarkets and restaurants. Given market demand for fresh tropical fruits and food products in Russia, the COA has made the first ever achievements in overcoming Russia’s customs barriers for exports of products from Taiwan with market potential, including seafood, fruit, vegetables, food products, tea, and flowers, which will accelerate future trade discussions.
The COA explains that it gathered together products including domestic fruit, tea, seafood, processed agriproducts, and flowers, as well as invited some agricultural operators, to participate in this market exploration activity. The delegation to Moscow will be led by the COA, while the Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission and by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council’s (TAITRA’s) Taiwan Trade Center Moscow have provided help in making local contacts and doing preparatory work in Russia, and they will jointly hold this Taiwan agriproduct promotion and sales negotiation event. Besides inviting Russian political leaders, representatives of industrial and commercial associations, reporters, and Internet celebrities to join in the activity, the COA has also arranged for the head chefs of the Grand Hotel Taipei and the Marriott Hotel in Russia to share a stage in demonstrating the preparation of vegetable, fruit, and seafood dishes, in order to help publicize Taiwan’s premium agricultural and food products. During its time in Russia, the Taiwan delegation has also arranged to visit Russia’s largest food wholesale center Food City, the Russian logistics company Red Line, and wholesale and retail outlets including Ashan, Azbuka Vkusa, Perekrestok, and Miratorg, to encourage the export of fresh fruit, tea, flowers, seafood, and processed goods from Taiwan to Russia.
The COA emphasizes that this is the first time that the COA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Economic Affairs have cooperated in using a Taiwan representative office abroad and a local TAITRA Taiwan Trade Center to link together domestic and overseas capabilities to expand into a newly rising overseas market and create trade opportunities for Taiwan agricultural and food products. This is also one of the functions of the Agricultural Product Export Platform. By holding overseas promotional and market development activities, the COA can directly match agricultural operators with overseas sales channels, and work together with everyone to expand exports to newly rising overseas markets and strengthen the diversification of overseas markets. In the future, the COA will continue to use an online platform to provide farmers, farmers’ organizations, industry associations, and export firms about measures related to developing and expanding overseas exports. The COA will also continue to work to diversify sales channels for Taiwan agriproducts, raise farmers’ incomes, and generate great results for the export of agricultural and food products.