According to Egidijus Mackevičius, president of the Lithuanian Meat Processors’ Association, food exporters are looking not only at the European Union (EU), the United States and African markets – they are also interested in the markets of the Middle East.
Simonas Šatūnas, director of External Economic Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the ministry and diplomatic representations abroad are trying to help Lithuanian food exporters to establish ties with state institutions, embassies and potential partners in new markets.
“These countries are lesser known to our businesspeople, thus we have agreed with food exporters that we will be looking to use every visit of an ambassador or a diplomat from distant countries to provide an opportunity for our businesspeople to meet with them directly,” said Šatūnas.
In 2015 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the State Food and Veterinary Service and the Lithuanian Meat Processors’ Association organised a special mission for Lithuanian meat processing companies to Warsaw, where they met with representatives from embassies of the Middle East countries. During the visit Lithuanian companies were able to directly introduce themselves to ambassadors and express their desire to export food products and receive relevant export certificates as soon as possible.
Although Lithuania’s trade turnover with Iraq is small, just EUR 1.9 million, yet this country interests Lithuanian food and textiles exporters.
On Monday the Iraqi ambassador presented letters of credence to President Dalia Grybauskaitė. The ambassador also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Neris Germanas and discussed prospects of bilateral relations and the situation in Iraq.
Lithuania’s deputy foreign minister encouraged the ambassador of Iraq, who resides in Warsaw, to undertake initiatives promoting closer cooperation between the two countries and coming closer together between the societies of Lithuania and Iraq. The deputy foreign minister emphasised that Lithuania is ready to strengthen relations in bilateral trade, business and other areas.