BYKOVO, Russia May 18 Asian businesses plan to
invest around $4 billion in milk and dairy production in Russia,
helping Moscow replace imports hit by trade sanctions on
Russia banned many Western food imports, including dairy, in
2014 in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine, creating supply
shortfalls and spurring investments in its agricultural sector.
Vietnamese dairy producer TH Group began building milk farms
in the Moscow region on Wednesday as part of a 10-year project
worth $2.7 billion.
Separately, the state-backed Russia Direct Investment Fund
(RDIF) announced plans on Wednesday to sign an agreement with
Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) on joint
investments in the construction of a $1 billion milk and dairy
complex in the Ryazan region of Russia.
"It's not the easiest time for our country. We live in
conditions of food sanctions and when the Vietnamese government
supports us, it means a lot to us," Alexander Tkachev, Russian
agriculture minister, said at a ceremony marking the start of
construction of TH Group's farms.
The first stage, worth $500 million, will lead to the
production of 800 tonnes of milk and products a day that are
expected to reach the Russian market next year, said TH Group
Chairman Thai Huong.
CP Group and RDIF did not immediately provide details of
(Reporting by Olga Popova, Polina Devitt, Oksana Kobzeva;
writing by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Adrian Croft)