Council chair, CEO visit with Uzbekistan officials

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Tom Frisch and CEO Tom Slunecka visited the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington, D.C., to promote Minnesota soybeans and encourage the growth of the Uzbekistan’s soy crushing capabilities.

The engagement came about a year after Council leaders visited Uzbekistan following the historic, first-ever shipment of 700 metric tons of U.S. soybeans to the landlocked country. While in the nation’s capital, Frisch and Slunecka visited with Laziz Sh. Kudratov, minister of investment, industry and trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan. During the meeting, Council leaders highlighted trade opportunities with Minnesota-grown soybeans.

“They were very receptive and appreciated the investments we’ve made in growing this market for our soybeans,” Frisch said. “They’re excited, as we are.”

Since 2020, MSR&PC has invested checkoff dollars in projects in Uzbekistan to identify the country’s needs for U.S. soy. The Council also recently commissioned a feasibility study that focused on the viability of soybean meal crush capabilities and future development of livestock facilities in Uzbekistan. The study underscores U.S. soy’s unique opportunity for Uzbek importers.

Council Chair Tom Frisch’s visit to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Washington, D.C., was his first to an international embassy.

“There’s plenty of potential growth that exists for us to help them to purchase high-quality Minnesota soybeans, and this checkoff-supported study provided great insight for them,” Slunecka said.

The Council also explained the how shipping soybeans via the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is an attractive option for both parties.

“That route really provides linkage between two markets due to smaller size vessels on both sides of the ocean,” Slunecka said.

The Council will continue its efforts in growing the Uzbekistan market, which has a population of nearly 35 million.

“We’re continuing to look forward and make those next important steps,” Frisch said.

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