(Roundup) Lithuanian food producers to enter new export markets with eye on China

March 5, 2015 11:44 am 

VILNIUS, March 5 — Lithuania got the go-ahead to export beef to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the government announced on Wednesday, while earlier this week Argentina gave Lithuania the green light to export its dairy products to the Latin America country.

"The second good news about opening new markets has been received this week," Algirdas Butkevicius, Lithuania's prime minister, said in a statement.

"We managed to open the door for beef and beef products exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina," he added.

BiH food safety institutions confirmed that all necessary requirements for Lithuanian beef and beef products were met, allowing Lithuanian exports to enter the Balkan country, Butkevicius noted.

Earlier this week, Argentina's food safety counterpart announced that Lithuanian dairy products, including cow, sheep and goat milk, could be exported to Argentina.

"It is very relevant for Lithuania, in terms of the necessity to look for new markets while Russia has banned Lithuanian production," Butkevicius commented.

Up to now, Chile has been the only country in South America to import Lithuanian dairy products.

Opening new markets for Lithuanian food products is among the government's main priorities in 2015.

Lithuanian dairy companies welcomed the news. However, some companies said Argentina was hardly a market for massive dairy exports due to the stiff competition.

"Argentina exports dairy products itself to all over the world, so I suppose it would be difficult to sell there," Gintaras Bertasius, chief executive officer of Lithuanian dairy company Vilkyskiu Pienine was quoted as saying by national broadcaster LRT.

Pienine named Brazil among the most wanted export markets, while Aristidas Kulvinskas, director of Marijampoles Pieno Konservai, one of the largest milk processors in Lithuania, stressed that entering the Chinese market would be the most useful for Lithuania's dairy sector.

Kulvinskas said it would take a few years to enter new markets, especially distant ones, such as Asia, South America or Arab countries.

Jonas Milius, director of Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service, said a lot of work had been done towards possibly entering the Chinese market.

"Documents for separate products have been filled in and sent to China, in the Chinese language. Work is going on, we are in communication with China," Milius noted in an interview with LRT.

Lithuanian overall exports to china amounted to 102.1 million euro (about US$ 113.5 million) in 2014, Statistics Lithuania data showed. (PNA/Xinhua)

LGI/EBP

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