Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural cooperation between Lithuania and Japan signed

Žemės ūkio ministerijos nuotr.

Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Agriculture Vytenis Tomkus and Japanese Minister of State for Agriculture Nobuhide Takemura sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in agriculture between Lithuania and Japan. The Memorandum improves the conditions for closer cooperation between businesses, technology developers and competent institutions in the agriculture and food industry.

The two Memorandum of Understanding aims to share best practices in the fields of organic agriculture, sustainable farming, nature conservation, food safety, climate change mitigation, technology transfer and soil improvement, and to develop trade relations. The importance of strengthening cooperation between universities and researchers was underlined. It was unanimously agreed that the level of cooperation between the two countries is moving to a much more sustainable and important level, and that even more progress is expected.

Vice Minister Tomkus underlined the importance of Japan as a strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

„For Lithuanian businesses, Japan is already one of the most important priority markets and its potential is growing year by year, as demonstrated by the consistently increasing trade volumes. Lithuania's political role and duty at international level is equally clear – we need to be a reliable, global partner in the agricultural market and to develop cooperation with friendly, democratic countries that respect international rules and norms and value trust. Japan's values reflect our interests well and we will continue to strengthen our ties," said the Vice-Minister.

Nobuhide Takemura, Minister of State for Agriculture of Japan, congratulated Lithuania on the upcoming Independence Day and underlined the importance of strengthening the partnership between the two countries. He welcomed the momentum of the friendship between the two countries and said that he saw great potential for cooperation in the agriculture and food industries, not only in the development of bilateral trade, but also in other sectors.

Minister Takemura has already visited the stand of Lithuanian companies at „Foodex Japan 2024“ and highly appreciated the variety and quality of Lithuanian food products. He stressed that Japan is striving to significantly expand its food exports, and asked how Lithuania, which is experiencing stable and good export growth, is doing.

The meeting also discussed the issue of poultrymeat export resumption conditions and the possibility of assessing the possibility of pork export permits to Japan. It was agreed that the competent food and veterinary authorities would seek common solutions and continue cooperation on these and other food safety issues.

In 2023, total exports of agricultural and food products from Lithuania to Japan amounted to EUR 26.8 million (19.1% more than in 2022), and in the structure of exports in terms of volume, Japan was ranked 41st out of 157 export partners.

While in 2022, Japan was ranked 44th out of 152 export partners in the structure of exports in terms of šalis. In 2023, 95.6% of agricultural and food products exported to Japan were of Lithuanian origin, with the largest share (32%) being poultry of Lithuanian origin and pigs' yolks. Exports to Japan also include shellfish, beef products, bread products, soups and broths, chocolate, poultry meat and offal, prepared cereal products, beverages, dairy products, pašars, etc.