International Green Week showcases Russian agricultural products
This week thinkRUSSIA follows the Russian participation at the agriculture exhibition International Green Week in Berlin.
What is IGW?
Each year the world’s largest agriculture trade fair, International Green Week (IGW), is held in Berlin bringing together more than 1,500 exhibitors from over 600 countries and attracting 400,000 visitors. At this year’s IGW edition, Russia filled an entire exhibition hall, presenting 15 regions and 200 Russian companies hoping to build on last year’s success which saw the agreement of hundreds of investment projects.
Nikolay Fyodorov, Russian Minister for Agriculture and Fishing, attended the trade fair and acknowledged the importance of the country’s participation, saying: “We are here to present the potential of Russia. There is considerable demand (...) confirmed by the scores of investment agreements which were concluded during the Green Week.” He noted that Russia has already signed trade agreements worth €100 million with partners from Germany, Finland and Italy.
A burgeoning sector
Russia’s agricultural production has grown significantly in the last twenty years. In 2013, the country exported agricultural products worth around €8.4 billion. The majority of exports arrived on EU markets (19 %) and Turkey (15%). Among the different products, wheat, sugar beets, fur and soy-beans feature most prominently. Central Russia and the Krasnodar region boast the most productive regions in Russia.
According to Lars Jaeger, project manager of this year’s IGW, the exhibition demonstrated once more its function as “gap-closer”. In his eyes, the Green Week generally represents a good opportunity for fruitful discussion between Russia and Germany.
Indeed, cooperation between the two nations in the agriculture field has a long tradition. In 1994, the agricultural committee of the Russian Duma and the German Agriculture Ministry launched the German-Russian Agripolitical Dialogue. It aims to connect politicians, businesses and associations from both countries via round tables, conferences and working groups.
In this spirit, Christian Schmidt, German Food and Agriculture Minister, met with his Russian counterpart on Friday in preparation of the Green Week and the German-Russian Agripolitical Dialogue.
According to Schmidt, Russia’s presence at the Green Week was as “a signal that there is a Russian interest to cooperate with Germany in the future on issues regarding agriculture and food security.” And regarding the long history of agricultural trade between Russia and Germany, he added: “I strongly support good cooperation between our countries in the framework of our modernization partnership.”
This bodes well for the future.
Question: Did you attend Green Week? What did you find most impressive?