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10 Nov 2016

Belarus eyes Turkey for MTZ, Amkodor assembly plants

MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – Belarus hopes to set up assembly plants for its MTZ and Amkodor vehicles in Turkey, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Anadolu News Agency, BelTA has learned.

“We believe that the level of our relations with Turkey should be much higher. We should enter a level of industrial cooperation to implement joint mutually beneficial projects in different countries, set up joint companies to produce goods necessary for a particular state. That is why we devote close attention to our industrial interaction. It means a higher level of cooperation in comparison with pure trade,” Vladimir Makei noted.

Successful examples of such cooperation can already been cited. Minsk Automobile Plant has set up a joint production of trucks in Izmir. The company has already assembled the first samples and exported them to third countries. The parties are mulling over similar cooperation in the production of buses.

“We plan to develop cooperation in the joint assembling or production of our tractors in Turkey. Belarus tractors are unknown to Turkey yet, although our product has already gained wide recognition in many countries. We are also discussing possible production of road construction and other special-purpose vehicles under the Amkodor trademark in Turkey,” said Vladimir Makei.

According to the Belarusian minister, Turkey has reformed its coal-mining industry. This means that today there are real opportunities for resuming supplies of BelAZ haul trucks to the Turkish market. “Moreover, these haul trucks can be used not just in Turkey but also in the infrastructure projects that Turkish companies implement on third markets,” he noted.

Vladimir Makei named the decision on mutual abolition of visas for short trips as the right and mutually beneficial one. In H1 2013, before the introduction of the visa-free regime, Belarus was visited by nearly 17,000 Turkish citizens. In H1 2016 this number went up to 27,000 visitors. “The same is true about Turkey. Our citizens are visiting Turkey more often today,” the minister said.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with other stakeholders is working hard to improve the visa regime. This pertains not only to Turkey, but also to other countries. “At for Turkey, a special commission has been set up to develop cooperation in tourism. The commission holds regular annual meetings, discusses important issues and works out solutions in order to create all necessary conditions for the comfortable stay of Belarusian citizens in Turkey and Turkish people in Belarus. I must say, however, that we still have to do a lot in the sector,” Vladimir Makei said.

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