China could be interested in Estonian dairy products

Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship Anne Sulling has described the words recently said by the prime minister of China as regards China’s interest toward Estonian products as giving hope, yet added that to her knowledge Estonian dairy companies have not been included in the list of approved producers of China’s import inspection service.

“What the Chinese prime minister said is certainly encouraging and gives hope that it will be soon possible for Estonian dairy producers to export their products to China. The director general of the Veterinary and Food Board, Ago Partel, however has said that as of the present moment Estonian dairy companies have not been included in the list of the Chinese service for the import of raw materials of animal origin and food import quarantine where the names of all the countries and businesses accepted as trading partners are published,” Sulling told BNS.

Sulling observed that inclusion of Estonian dairy sector companies in the list is a prerequisite for allowing their products on the Chinese market. “The [Veterinary and Food] Board presented an application to that effect along with a filled-out detailed preliminary questionnaire to their Chinese colleagues already in May last year. The statement by the prime minister of China gives hope that our dairy companies will indeed soon be included in that list too. For sure opening of the Chinese market would expand opportunities for Estonian dairy producers to sell their products on faraway markets. The more markets there are open for Estonia, the better,” the minister said.

Estonian exports to China in the first nine months of this year amounted to 101.1 million euros, which is 42.7 percent more than in the same period a year ago. Total exports by Estonia in the nine-month period meanwhile dropped 3.3 percent year on year to 8.94 billion euros.

Imports from China declined 4.9 percent to 354.7 million euros. Total import by Estonia contracted 2.6 percent to 10.12 billion euros in January-September 2014.

The main items Estonia exports to China are machinery and equipment, accounting for 26 percent of total, wood and wood products, 13 percent, and mineral products, 9 percent. Of goods moving in the opposite direction machinery and mechanical equipment make up 61 percent, textile and textile products 10 percent and metal and metal products 6 percent.

The Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, has said the country’s doors are open for Estonian products and the relationship between the two countries is in a fresh starting point.

“Doors of the Chinese market are open for Estonian products. According to our statistics trade between China and Estonia increased in 2011 as well as in 2012. In 2013 Estonia’s exports to China even grew by 50 percent. It shows that trade between China and Estonia is moving towards a bigger balance,” Li told Eesti Paevaleht.

Li said that the Chinese-Estonian relationship is in a fresh starting point. Estonia has high quality dairy products and bottled water which could attract Chinese consumers with medium or high income. He added that Chinese agricultural and quality inspection institutions are inspecting Estonian producers and the Chinese government is ready to support its companies in buying Estonian products.

Source: Baltic News Service throuh Estonian Review

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