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5 Oct 2015

Belarus, Russia's Sakhalin Oblast to prepare action plan for economic cooperation by 2015 year-end

MINSK, 5 October (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia's Sakhalin Oblast will prepare an action plan for the development of trade and economic cooperation in 2016-2018 by the end of the year. The statement was made in a meeting between Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov and Governor of Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast Oleg Kozhemyako in Minsk on 5 October, BelTA has learned.

According to Andrei Kobyakov, the joint plan is to describe the specific measures to be taken to promote the development of trade and economic relations between Belarus and Sakhalin Oblast. Initially, the document was supposed to be issued in January 2016, but the parties decided to intensify the process.

Andrei Kobyakov congratulated Oleg Kozhemyako on his election as Governor of Sakhalin Oblast. "We cooperated closely with you when you were a governor of Amur Oblast. We had good relations; our trade and economic cooperation was growing nicely. Amur Oblast is still among leaders among the Far East regions in terms of trade and economic cooperation with Belarus. We expect that with Sakhalin Oblast we will build the same systemic and pragmatic but at the same time sincere and friendly relations,” said the Prime Minister.

The Belarusian head of government stated that the trade between Belarus and Sakhalin Oblast is small. "But the starting situation is good: whatever growth we generate will still be high compared to what we have today," said Andrei Kobyakov. He stressed that the current situation does not match the existing potential.

Belarus is ready to offer Sakhalin Oblast both traditional and new areas of cooperation. "We traditionally offer you products of our machine-building industry. I know that you have visited Amkodor, MAZ. Tomorrow you will go to see MTZ which also has something to offer. We have good proposals regarding municipal vehicles, gas engine trucks," stated the Prime Minister.

He also assured that Belarus is ready to help Sakhalin Oblast in the construction industry. "We know that you have big plans for housing construction, renovation and new construction of highways. We are ready to participate and offer Belarusian construction and design services. We have good technologies in the production of building materials,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

The Belarusian head of government drew attention to the cooperation in agriculture: "We see that for the time being Sakhalin is not fully self-sufficient in food. But the region can develop solid agricultural manufacture and we are also ready to lend a helping hand with both machine-building equipment, technologies in dairy industry, crop production, and breeding.”

For his part, Oleg Kozhemyako noted the readiness of Belarus to cooperate. "We have many years of experience and have developed mutually beneficial cooperation. The main thing is that we have common and clear plans of work, that we are creating the long-term conditions so that that the work would be mutually beneficial," he said.

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