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18 May 2016

Belarus, Saudi Arabia sign agreement on cooperation in science, technology

MINSK, 18 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Saudi Arabia have agreed to cooperate in the area of science and technology. The relevant agreement was signed after the second session of the Belarusian-Saudi Arabian joint committee in Minsk on 18 May, BelTA has learned.

Chairman of the State Science and Technology Committee of Belarus Alexander Shumilin told media: “Today all countries understand perfectly well that a serious economy can no longer rely on only raw materials. All countries are interested in building an economy of knowledge based on new technologies. This is why Saudi Arabia demonstrates such a great interest in scientific and technical cooperation with Belarus where a strong scientific school has evolved. Today we are busy commercializing our products and we indeed have competitive innovative products to offer.”

In his words, the Saudi Arabian side is particularly interested in pharmaceutics, biotechnologies, and information technologies. Fire-fighting equipment and gear were also discussed since Belarus has a broad lineup of the relevant products.

At the same time the sides discussed prospects of expanding cooperation in education and personnel training. “No technology can work without people. They know about our education standards and are interested in getting more of their specialists trained in Belarus,” said Alexander Shumilin.

First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Sergei Chizhik told media that over the course of eight years Belarusian scientists in association with Saudi Arabian institutions have implemented 25 projects and have earned $40 million. Another 18 projects are in the pipeline. “It is a respectable sum for the R&D sector. We see very interested partners,” he stressed.

In particular, scientific cooperation is maintained in such spheres as optics, high-quality component machining, power engineering, and nanostructure materials.

Belarus was also invited to organize an exhibition of modern technologies in Saudi Arabia in January-February 2017. Apart from that, the Saudi Arabian side is interested in setting up joint ventures in Saudi Arabia.

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