GRODNO, 29 September (BelTA) – Latvian businessmen think highly of the export potential of Grodno Oblast. The relevant statement was made at the second regional Belarusian-Latvian business forum in Grodno on 29 September, BelTA has learned.
The first Belarusian-Latvian business forum took place in Riga last year. Representatives of the Latvian delegation believe it prompted the activation of economic relations. According to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Latvia Alexander Gerasimenko, since then the number of Belarusian-Latvian joint ventures has doubled. He said that Latvia is a major trade, economic and investment partner of Belarus. In January-August 2011 Belarus-Latvia trade was close to $1.8 billion, with over $700 million in Latvian investments poured into the Belarusian economy in the last five years.
Meanwhile, the trade turnover between Grodno Oblast and Latvia is below the economic potential of the former. The trade turnover can be increased and the forum is supposed to do that, said the diplomat.
The Latvian delegation includes about 40 people. The Latvian businessmen are interested in buying agricultural machines, building transportation and logistics centers, buying chemical and woodworking products. Specific opportunities of the bilateral cooperation are discussed via roundtable sessions. Representatives of Latvian business circles also directly contact Belarusian companies and get familiar with the enterprises they are interested in.
An agreement on cooperation between the Grodno branch of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Liepaja branch of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Latvia was signed at the joint session of the second regional Belarusian-Latvian forum and the third international investment forum “Grodno – a city at the crossing of borders”. It was said that the framework agreement will be filled with concrete projects soon. Another visit of business circles of the industrial city of Liepaja to Grodno will be arranged within six months. The plans testify to the interest in mutually beneficial cooperation, enhancement and expansion of trade and economic relations.
Two more framework documents were signed: an agreement on partnership on the transboundary cooperation program Poland-Belarus-Ukraine between the Grodno city administration and the Choroszcz district of Poland and an agreement on cooperation between the agency for financial support for entrepreneurs of Grodno Oblast and the territorial agency for entrepreneurship encouragement of the North-Western Administrative District of Moscow.
The Belarusian-Latvian business forum and the international investment forum are held as part of the 13th multi-industry fair “Euroregion Neman 2011”.