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Israeli Exporters Want Long-Term Arrangments If To Replace Turkish Produce In Moscow Featured

17 December 2015

Moscow's Deputy Mayor Leonid Pechatnikov, during the forum “Smart Cities: Revealing The Code Of Innovation", discussed Israel as being an important player in the strategy of import replacement as well as the development of trade turnover between the two countries. 

The Deputy Mayor of Tel-Aviv, and businessman, Meital Lehavi led the delegation.

“I really hope that Turkish fruits will be replaced by Israeli (products),” Pechatnikov said, adding that he had previously discussed increasing imports of Israeli produce with the country's Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz.

Vegetable producers and suppliers of Israel are fixated on the possible opportunities of increasing exports to the Russian market. Many exporters of Israel think that it is possible to take the place of Turkish products on the Russian market, but many of them also agree that there need to be long-term arrangements in place, especially with Russia's economic crisis in the background.

Zvi Alon, chairman of the Israel Plant Production and Marketing Board, said that Russia is a prospective direction for agricultural products. For example, a large portion of Russia's consumer demand for agricultural products is for carrots.

Carrot consumption in Russia has grown seven fold over the course of the last 5-7 years. At that time, just 20 thousand tonnes of carrots were shipped to the country annually, to 150-180 thousand tonnes today. A large portion of Russia's agricultural imports from Israel are avocados and sweet peppers (150 thousand tonnes – 50 percent of all shipments).

In a press release from Israel's Association of Farmers, the organization outlined several steps to increase trade turnover. However, their main concerns were the amount of exports permitted for export to Russia and the weakening of the ruble against the dollar.

“We are also greatly affected by this, but we have insisted on continuing exports,” Alon said. But if the ruble remains cheap, the profitability of export will be less. If the ruble recovers even a little, there will be good prospects for expanding exports.”

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