The countries have agreed on the form of veterinary certificates that Russian exporters will use to deliver products to Saudi Arabia.

The first supplies are expected to start immediately after Saudi food regulator SFDA includes specific Russian companies in the list of authorised exporters. The first exports are expected to begin before the end of 2017, according to a press release from the veterinary organisation.

This latest approval for meat supplies is a part of a major trade expansion agreed between Russia and Saudi Arabia recently, following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in early October. The trade expansion is mainly focused on deliveries of Russian military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture had repeatedly listed Saudi Arabia among the most promising foreign markets for Russian meat, alongside China and Iran.
During a press conference following negotiations with Russia, Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, president of the Saudi chambers of commerce and industry, said that, in total, Saudi Arabia could import meat from Russia with a total value of US$1bn per year.

Al-Rajhi noted that Saudi Arabia imported large quantities of meat for roughly US$20bn per year, with some supplies coming from remote countries like Australia and New Zealand. Russia is much closer, so it has the potential to establish strong exports to the kingdom. He added that if Russia were able to establish exports of US$1bn, “this would be a good start”​.

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