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Azerbaijani meat, milk enter Customs Union

2 April 2015 16:26 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijani meat, milk enter Customs Union

By Nigar Orujova

The production of four Azerbaijani companies has been included in the register of goods of the Customs Union.

The Union that includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will receive the products of Atena, Milk-Pro, Ucar Aqro and AZFP CO LTD, said Yolchu Khanveli, representative of the State Veterinary Service at the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry.

This decision was made in March after inspections of products made at the Azerbaijani enterprises for compliance with standards.

As a result of the inspection, member states of the Customs Union expressed readiness to import milk and dairy products produced by Atena, Milk-Pro and AZFP CO LTD companies, as well as meat products from Ucar Aqro company.

Khanveli said all products of these companies meet the veterinary and phyto-sanitary requirements in force in the countries of the Union.

An audit committee of the Customs Union’s states visited Azerbaijan in December 2014, to review the quality of products in meat and dairy plants as well as poultry farms for their compliance with export regulations.

"Problems found in the products of other companies will be studied and after solving these problems it will be reported to the audit committee, after which they will also be able to get into the registry of the goods of the Customs Union," Khanveli added.

Azerbaijan increased its production of meat, milk and chicken eggs in January and February. The country produced 72,300 tons of meat in live weight, 279,400 tons of milk, 257.6 million eggs.

Compared to the same period last year, meat production in the country grew by 1.9 percent, milk by 4.3 percent, and eggs by 7.1 percent.

Azerbaijani products became more actual for Russia after it stopped its import of products from the U.S., the European Union, Canada, Australia, and Norway, as a response to western sanctions against Russia, in connection to events in Ukraine.

For Azerbaijan, it opened new possibilities. The country has significantly increased the supply of agricultural products to the Russian Federation since last summer.

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $304.31 million in January-February this year, compared with $257.8 million for the same period last year, the State Customs Committee reported.

Meanwhile, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan decreased to $12 million, which is 3.5 times less than in January-February 2014.

The turnover between Azerbaijan and Belarus reached $10.5 million, which is 26.5 percent more than the same period last year.

The Customs Union established in 2010 between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, aims to form a single customs territory within which no customs duties or economic restrictions are applied. The single economic space of the Customs Union started operating on January 1, 2012.

Azerbaijan did not join the Union. Some economists believes, Azerbaijan's joining the Customs Union is not beneficial as the share of Western countries in Azerbaijan's economic turnover amounts to 85 percent, while that of CIS countries stands at 15 percent.

However, experts believe that the country could join the Russian-backed organization if Russia accelerates the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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