VITEBSK, 28 December (BelTA) – The Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee and China's DRex Food Group Co., Ltd reached a $400 million investment agreement, BelTA has learned.
The deal was sealed by Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev and DRex Food Group President Dai Shiwei. According to the document, dairy farms and a milk processing plant will be set up in the region within two years.
The project is meant to modernize the agricultural production facilities in Vitebsk Oblast, Nikolai Sherstnev said. “We want to build completely new dairy farms and fit them out with cutting-edge equipment. These will be the most advanced and promising dairy farms of the 21st century. Young people, programmers in particular, will be happy to work there,” Nikolai Sherstnev underlined.
Another important aspect is the opportunity for Vitebsk Oblast-based companies to diversify the exports of dairy products. “As of today, Russia is our major consumer. Thanks to the Chinese FDI, we will get a solid partner and will branch out into China with our products. The Chinese investor will produce and sell both his and our goods. We will start the project in 2018 by shifting some of our operating plants towards making high-demand products for China. At the same time, we will be building the dairy farms and the plant envisaged by the investment agreement,” Nikolai Sherstnev stated.
In accordance with the investment agreement, the initial phase will see the construction of a farm for a dairy herd of 20,000 head (about 50,000 head of cattle in the future). The raw materials zone of the project will include about 100,000 hectares of land in the districts of Senno, Tolochin and Chashniki. Nikolai Sherstnev noted that at the first meeting with the Chinese partners, they agreed that the project will be implemented by Belarusian specialists. “DRex Corporation Food Group operates in different areas and the dairy industry is just one of them. We have professional staff who are well-versed in all aspects of this business,” the governor noted.
DRex Food Group President Dai Shiwei noted that Belarus is among the world's top five exporters of dairy products. China is a huge market and therefore must be attractive for Belarusian manufacturers. “Taking into account the intentions of the leaders of our countries to deepen economic contacts, such a project was predetermined,” Dai Shiwei said. The choice in favor of Vitebsk Oblast was due to several factors. The key one among them is high efficiency, professionalism and openness of the Vitebsk Oblast authorities, the head of the company said. For his part, he guaranteed that the technological equipment will be the most advanced and will meet the highest requirements.
The first step towards achieving the desired objectives was the registration of the Chinese enterprise that will work in the region and build the facilities. A registration certificate was presented to the head of Drex Food Group by the Vitebsk Oblast governor during the investment agreement signing ceremony.More about Economy