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13 Feb 2015

Belarus’ embassy intensifies efforts for stronger interregional ties with France

MINSK, 13 February (BelTA) – The Belarusian embassy views development of ties with regions and cities of France among the Belarusian-French cooperation priorities, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to France Pavel Latushko said as he spoke at the first meeting of the Belarusian-French commission on economic cooperation on 13 February, BelTA has learned.

The diplomat stressed the importance of presenting Belarusian and French cooperation opportunities in regions. In his words, the 1st Belarus-France Business Forum which was attended by nearly 50 French businessmen from 30 cities of France proves the efficiency of such work.

“Strong interest from the French regional business in our country is also a result of 18 presentations held by the Belarusian embassy in France over the past two years,” Pavel Latushko noted. Presentations telling about the opportunities of trade, economic and investment cooperation were held in many French cities. They were visited by more than 450 French businessmen.

“The next important area in interregional cooperation in the establishment of twin-town and partner relations between the regions of Belarus and France. Belarus has a rich experience in interregional cooperation with the neighboring countries, and we are confident that it can be useful for the Belarusian-French relations,” the Ambassador said. The diplomat cited as a good example the 35-year-long fruitful cooperation between Belarus’ Gomel and France’s Clermont-Ferrand as well as the contacts between two cities of Brest established in 2013-2014. Bobruisk and Seynod have been developing relations as well. “We hope for the restoration of cooperation between Minsk and Lyon, Grodno and Limoges. The signing of the agreement between the Partizansky District of Minsk and Tourcoing is among the nearest future plans,” the diplomat said.

In his words, another important area in regional cooperation is the participation in regional exhibitions and intensification of activity among public associations. In 2014 the two parties set up the French-Belarusian Business Club and opened its representative office in Minsk. It is possible that the club will be later transformed into the Belarusian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In 2014 the Belarus-South-Pyrenees Association was set up in Toulouse, which started its activity with the presentation of the Belarusian economy. The presentation was attended by 26 companies from the South-Pyrenees region. The France-Belarus Association in Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been actively assisting the bilateral economic contacts.

According to the diplomat, honorary consulates play an important role in promoting interregional contacts. In 2014 the French Honorary Consulate was opened in Brest. Belarus is interested in establishing its honorary consulates in big cities of France such as Lyon and Toulouse.

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