VILNIUS, 11 April (BelTA) – Each Belarus-Lithuania economic forum gives impetus to the development of economic relations between the two countries, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Lithuania Vladimir Drazhin told Lithuanian reporters on 10 April.
The first international forum took place in Klaipeda in 2005. The second that was held in Soligorsk opened new cargo transit opportunities for Belarus. “Belkali chose the Klaipeda port of Lithuania as the main partner for transshipment of potash fertilizers to the West. We started from 250,000-500,000 tonnes of fertilizers. Last year Klaipeda shipped over 6.5 million tonnes,” Vladimir Drazhin said.
Investment growth impresses as well. The investment mechanism was launched after the economic forum in Vilnius in 2009 which was attended by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko who assured that Lithuanian businessmen may feel confident investing in Belarus as well as after the visit of President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania to Minsk in 2010 and the meeting of a group of Lithuanian businessmen with the Belarusian President. “Over the decade, from 2001 to 2010, Lithuania invested in Belarus $150 million. Last year this sum made up $111 million,” the diplomat said.
According to Vladimir Drazhin, working in the country Lithuanian investors made sure of the reliability of investment in Belarus. The Ambassador cited Lithuania’s Vakaru Medienos Grupe, one of the biggest timber exporters in the Baltic states, as a good example. The company is currently building a woodworking cluster in the FEZ Mogilev. “The export potential of the future company is $150-200 million per year, and this project is a good example of active work and capital investment. Today we are working with 15 Lithuanian or joint projects with the total amount of nearly $500 million. This opens up big prospects,” Vladimir Drazhin said.
The Belarusian Ambassador to Lithuania met with Lithuanian reporters ahead of the 8th International Belarus-Lithuania Economic Forum which is due to take place in Grodno on 18-19 April 2012.