MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) – Catalonia has invited Belarus to establish joint ventures to process agricultural products, Ramon Sentmarti, the managing director of the Prodeca agency that promotes Catalonia's agricultural products, said as he met with Director of the National Center for Marketing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Valery Sadokho on 27 February, BelTA has learned.
“Catalonia is not only a famous tourist hub, but also the most well-developed agricultural region in Europe. The main goal of our delegation in Belarus is to explore possibilities of cooperating in agriculture and establishing joint ventures,” Ramon Sentmarti said.
According to him, Catalonia is also eager to cooperate in logistics. “Barcelona is a strategic hub that has ties with Africa, the Middle East, and Asian countries. Catalonia operates a well-developed port that enables us to trade with almost all countries of the world. Minsk can also be considered a strategic center. This is why we are interested in Belarus not only as a market but also as a gateway to new markets for Catalonia,” Ramon Sentmarti said.
Catalonia Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Carmel Modol i Bresoli believes that Belarus and Spain have huge potential for cooperation. “Apart from the food industry, Catalonia is interested in agricultural machinery and woodworking,” he noted.
Honorary Consul of Belarus in Catalonia Cristian Balcells Navarro said that the parties are currently mulling over supplies of Catalonia's food products (wine, fruit, oil) to Belarus. Moreover, Belarusian enterprises might start bottling Catalonia's olive oil and wine. The consul also spoke about the possible launch of production of jelly from Catalonia's apples in Belarus.
In turn, Valery Sadokho noted that Belarus is also ready to set up joint food processing ventures in its territory. For example, Gomel Fat Factory is looking for such a partner. “Spain is one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality olive oil. We would like to cooperate with Spanish companies and set up a joint enterprise to produce olive oil in Belarus and access markets with these products. Our enterprise has enough capacity to satisfy Belarus' demand for olive oil with the help of our Spanish partners,” First Deputy Director of Gomel Fat Factory Igor Mozhanov said.
During their visit to Belarus, the delegation of Catalonia intend to visit the Belarusian tractor manufacturer MTZ and Minsk Sparkling Wines Factory.
Belarus' major exports to Spain include furniture, glass fiber, linen, and building structures. Belarus imports fruit, steel structures, medicines, vegetables, wine, and other products from Spain.