MINSK, 3 May (BelTA) - Minsk Oblast is interested in cooperation with the Czech Republic in health, agriculture and municipal economy, Chairman of the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee Boris Batura said as he met with Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Milan Hovorka.
Minsk Oblast and the Czech Republic can cooperate in healthcare (production of medicines), step up cooperation in agriculture, municipal economy (creating waste incineration plants), said Boris Batura.
According to him, Minsk Oblast is interested in the experience of small and medium-sized business in the Czech Republic. “Small and medium-sized business contribute 30% to the budget of Minsk Oblast. In the coming years its share is expected to increase to 50%. Minsk Oblast is seriously engaged in the development of small and medium-sized businesses,” Boris Batura said. Around Br25 billion was invested in the development of the region last year. Foreign direct investment totaled $120 million. Over the four months of this year, foreign direct investment amounted to about $50 million. In general, the level of investment is expected to be higher in 2012 than in last year.
Boris Batura noted that Belarus’ tourism sector lacks proper development. Czech experience in this area will be of great interest to Belarus. “I think further expansion of twin-town relations has great prospects,” he added. The Minsk Oblast Governor stressed that the two countries can boost cooperation in culture, education and sports.
In January-February 2012 Minsk Oblast foreign trade with the Czech Republic totaled $7.3 million (82.1% over the same months a year ago). Exports to the Czech Republic made up $2.5 million, imports - $4.8 million. The foreign trade deficit stood at $2.3 million.
In 2011 Minsk Oblast trade with the Czech Republic reached $58.4 million (89.9% to 2010). Belarus’ main exports to the Czech Republic include aluminic hardware, mineral or potash fertilizers, salt. Belarus imports Czech ferrous metal structure, fluid pumps, paper and cardboard.