Romania, Poland – common view to support producers hit by Russian ban

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Romania and Poland will present a joint view at the Council of the European Union in support of new aid measures for the agrifood producers hit by Russia’s embargo, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Daniel Constantin declared on Wednesday, quoted by Agerpres.

“Romania finds itself in the position of not exporting directly to Russia and risking an indirect impact, because products exported from other states, like Lithuania or Poland, are entering the Romanian market at dumping prices, and competition is unfair. I think it’s time, since it is a European problem, to find European Solutions. I have warned at the last Council of Ministers, too, about the risk of every (EU) member state trying to find national solution to protect its farmers and implicitly its consumers. Raising the minimum intervention price, private storage or stimulating producers to export to third party markets outside the European Union might be European solutions to consider soon. Political will is necessary; we must agree on these issues and then bring them to the Council. European funds are necessary too, to help farmers getting through this extremely difficult period,” the minister said after the first round of dialogue within the 16+ 1 Forum ‘China and the Central and Eastern European States’ at Indagra, the international trade fair of equipment and products in agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and animal husbandry hosted at Romexpo Exhibition Centre, Bucharest.

The import ban was Russia’s way of lashing back against Western economic sanctions. By targeting key sectors of Russia’s economy, the US and EU hoped to force President Putin to stop supporting rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine. Instead he imposed additional sanctions on Russia itself. The aim was to hurt European food producers for whom Russia is a major market, but the growing middle class here at home has also been affected.

 Special China forum at Indagra’s 19th edition

Romanian Prime Minister also attended the opening event, alongside his deputy and Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin, as well as visiting Chinese counterpart Han Changfu, informs. “Agriculture would be for Romania a powerful development engine for the future, PM Ponta during his visit at the international fair of farming products and equipment.

From L to R: Han Changfu, Victor Ponta, Daniel Constantin

“After very many years, Romania has become a net exporter (ed. note of agricultural products), it can now produce more than national consumption, it can export more than it imports,” said the head of the Executive, adding that the country’s Black Sea port Constanta is No. 1 among European ports as a transit zone for the export of agricultural products. “China is the world’s largest market,” he said, hoping Romania will succeed in putting to work the agricultural potential, “so as to produce not only for us, but to also export as much as possible.” Ponta also said that with an energetic and agriculturally independence, Romania can support the development of all the countries in the region.

“The People’s Republic of China represents a priority as far as Romania’s policy for developing relations with the Asian states is concerned. Also when it comes to trade, in the Asian region, China ranks first both in the export and import of agri-food products. As I have recently noticed, Romania has become more and more visible on the Chinese market and the companies from this country are interested in investing especially in Romania’s agricultural sector, both due to the advantage in business terms and (ed. note Romania’s) EU member state status,” Constantin in his turn said.

Over 450 companies from 22 countries, gathered at Indagra 2014.

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