Pakistan Urges Companies to Tap Russian Food Demand

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has urged local exporters to increase exports of agricultural products to Russia, where food is in demand after the country imposed a ban on food imports from the West, Pakistani website The News reports.

Russia keeps extending the ban, which prohibits import of agricultural products from countries that slapped economic sanctions against Russia, including the United States and Europe.

The TDAP said this opens up a vacuum that needs to be filled.

“As Pakistani citrus fruits have already received good response in Russian market, efforts can be made to promote awareness about other food products,” TDAP said in a report.

The exposure of the products can be maximized by taking part in Russian international trade shows, which can further build ways for business connectivity, the authorities added.

Pakistan is one of the rare countries with which Russia has a trade deficit. It reached its high point in 2015 when the Asian country imported commodities worth $96 million from Russia and exported $298 million worth of goods. The trade deficit shrank considerably to $19 million in 2017, according to the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

A preferential trade agreement between Pakistan and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is already in discussion, which could boost the trade relations between Pakistan and Russia and also pave way for Pakistan to enter other markets including Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The TDAP said seafood, textile and surgical instruments are potential sectors in Russia where export considerably can be enhanced but the sectors need hierarchical changes and developments.

“Marketing strategies in the trade shows need to be re-drafted according to the tastes and trends of the target audience,” the authority said.

“For Russia, where people can hardly use English as a means of communication, translators are highly recommended for effective promotion of the products in trade shows.”