The sides discussed further development of trade and economic relations between the countries, in particular, an increase in mutual trade and the expansion of the choice of traded agricultural goods. Interaction in the area of veterinary control, crop farming, pedigree cattle husbandry, agrarian education, and scientific potential was also discussed.
Continued cooperation in the area of veterinary control was high on the agenda of the meeting, in particular, the integration of information systems of Belarus and Azerbaijan, the training of the relevant specialists, the organization of veterinary control at the border. A working group of experts was established to enable prompt interaction between Belarusian and Azerbaijani government agencies. A joint action plan was sketched out. During the visit of the Belarusian delegation to Azerbaijan a memorandum of understanding between the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry and the Food Safety Agency of Azerbaijan in the area of veterinary science will be signed.
During the meeting Ivan Krupko noted that Azerbaijan is an important and reliable partner for Belarus. “The fact that our partnership in agribusiness is strategic is convincingly demonstrated by growing Belarus-Azerbaijan trade in agricultural goods and foods. Mutual trade in agricultural goods rose by 3.5 times in the last five years,” he pointed out.
In 2020 Belarus-Azerbaijan trade in agricultural goods and food totaled $35 million, 5.3% from 2019. Merchandise export reached $30.4 million (110.7% as against 2019), with import at $4.6 million. In January-February 2021 Belarus-Azerbaijan trade in agricultural goods and food amounted to $6.2 million (15.6% up from January-February 2020). Belarus’ export totaled $4.9 million (103.3%), with import at $1.3 million. Belarus sells a broad range of dairy products and meat products as well as confectionery to Azerbaijan and imports primarily vegetables, melons and gourds, berries, and fruits.
According to the press service of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry, Belarus is interested in continued cooperation with Azerbaijan in the area of agribusiness and in other areas. Belarusian agrarian universities are ready to offer advanced training courses for specialists of Azerbaijan’s agribusiness complex. They are ready to help with career enhancement and university student exchange programs, with organizing joint scientific research in the area of agriculture.
Joint work on setting up an enterprise to make veterinary preparations at premises of the Food Industry Institute of Azerbaijan looks promising. Belarus is also ready to suggest cooperation in supplying Belarusian high-producing pedigree cattle. Belarus is ready to interact in studying and sharing the best practices in matters concerning the evaluation of the pedigree value, biotechnologies, artificial selection of cattle and cattle husbandry, horse breeding and sheep breeding.
The press service also mentioned Belarus’ participation in the reconstruction and construction of dairy farms and other agricultural facilities in Azerbaijan as a promising cooperation avenue. Supplies of combined feed and premixes made by the Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation were also mentioned.