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Russia and Ecuador sign memorandum of understanding

Ecuadorian bananas face no competition in Russia

Ecuadorian bananas face no competition in Russia, where they have up to a 94% share of the market, and Ecuadorian exporters are, in fact, determined to further strengthen their already overwhelming leadership, as pointed out at the opening day of the Moscow World Food Fair 2017.

"We aim to continue strengthening our presence here. For us, Russia is a very important and strategic country," said the director of the Association of Exporters of Ecuadorian Bananas (Acrobanec), Richard Salazar.

The institution headed by Salazar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Fruit and Vegetable Importers Association in Moscow. The objective is to improve the already excellent cooperation between the two countries in the field of agro-food trade.

"Russia accounts for about 24 percent of Ecuador's total banana exports," stressed Salazar to illustrate the importance of the Russian market for his country.

The Ecuadorian ambassador in Moscow, Julio Prado Espinosa, explained that despite the current dominance of Ecuadorian bananas, "with the signing of the memorandum we want to consolidate banana exports to Russia, and also increase the flow of those shipments."

"Ecuador controls between 92 and 94 percent of the banana market in Russia. We expect to grow by 3 percent this year and we must note that there has been growth both in terms of sales and turnover," he added.

Prado Espinosa highlighted that Ecuadorian bananas have managed to maintain their position and continue to grow in Russia "despite the crisis in the banana market worldwide caused by oversupply."

The Ecuadorian Trade Office in Moscow (ProEcuador) also wants to take advantage of the synergy of banana exporters to give a boost in Russia to "banana chips", known in the South American country as chiflas. "They have great potential in Russia, as we have seen in organised tastings" in this country, assured Prado Espinosa.

Nearly 1,500 firms from 64 countries around the world have brought their products to WorldFood Moscow 2017, Russia's second most important food fair that is visited every year by more than 30,000 people, both entrepreneurs and individuals.

The Russian food market has been experiencing a historic change since the introduction of the embargo on perishable products from the European Union (EU), the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada, among others.

The embargo, extended this summer until the end of 2018, restricts the import of fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products from countries that maintain economic sanctions against Moscow for its support to the pro-Ukrainian separatists of eastern Ukraine.

The closure of the perishable food market to the West has opened the doors to new producers, including many Latin American countries, and has given a boost to the domestic agro-food sector, one of the few areas still growing in the current economic situation.

Source: EFE

Publication date: 9/13/2017


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