SANTIAGO Aug 7 Russia's government met with
various Latin American embassies on Wednesday to discuss the
possibility of looking for more food providers, in the wake of
its ban on many western products, the head of Chile's trade body
said on Thursday.
Russia has banned all imports of U.S. food products and
certain goods from the European Union, Australia, Canada and
Norway after President Vladimir Putin ordered retaliation for
sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
"What we had was a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) between the
Russian government and various Latin American embassies, where
of course Chile was invited," Andres Rebolledo, the head of the
Chilean government's Direcon trade body, said in an interview.
"They said there were looking for the possibility of more
food providers," Rebolledo added.
He did not specify which embassies were at the meeting.
Russia's ban presents an opportunity for meat and grain
exports from agricultural powerhouse Brazil and a smaller one
for its Latin American neighbors.
"One of the things they told our embassy is that they would
give us a list of products that they saw as more of a priority.
... The Russian government said it would hand us (the list) in
the coming days," said Rebolledo.
Chile, a possible alternative for European fruit, exported
$643 million of goods to Russia in 2013, mainly processed foods,
salmon and fruit, according to Direcon data. However, seasonal
variations - the southern hemisphere is in mid-winter - may make
full replacement tricky, fruit exporters said.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and