Belarus’ Agriculture and Food Minister, Mikhail Rusy, has told journalists that foreign companies are showing huge interest in co-operating with the dairy processing branch. “Profitability in this sphere is high — reaching 20 percent at some enterprises,” he stresses. Belarus is ready to partner foreign investors, while taking into consideration national interests. “We welcome and are interested in those with globally acknowledged brands, who are ready to invest. They’ll receive a share of assets and profit in return. We don’t just want them to sell to the Russian market, but to the EU and third countries. We’ll find our way in Russia independently,” Mr. Rusy adds.
Belarus is now negotiating joint dairy-related projects with French Danone, Finnish Galaktika and Dutch Campina. Danone, in particular, is interested in purchasing milk processing factories in Shklov and Pruzhany. “Following existing agreements, this company is to participate in constructing a milk plant to produce a wide range of dairy products, including yoghurts. Investment will reach 24m Euros,” explains Mr. Rusy. Danone is sending a delegation this summer, to discuss terms. Belarus is negotiating a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for the processing branch.
Speaking of the possibility of privatising dairy companies, the Minister notes that such plans are being considered. “An individual decision should be made regarding each company and each package of assets. I believe we should preserve state ownership of the controlling share,” he stresses.