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20 Sep 2019

Belarus looking to host Indian prime minister in 2020

Belarus looking to host Indian prime minister in 2020

MINSK, 20 September (BelTA) – Belarus is looking to host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a visit in 2020 and will regard it as a landmark event for bilateral relations, Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich said at a meeting with representatives of the Indian business community, BelTA has learned.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Belarus in 2020. “We are seriously preparing for this landmark event, the speaker said. He reminded that in 2017 the Belarusian head of state visited India, which created the basis for the strategic partnership between the two countries. The relations between the countries have historically been friendly. They are distinguished by a high degree of understanding on the political track, in trade, economy and humanitarian field. We intend to strengthen and develop them," Mikhail Myasnikovich noted.

Belarus-India trade and economic cooperation has been gaining steam, Mikhail Myasnikovich said. In January-July 2019, the mutual trade surged by 1.5 times year-on-year to amount to $414 million. “For a year and a half we registered the growth rate of 150% as compared to the same period a year earlier. I think that's not the limit," said the head of the upper house of the Belarusian Parliament. The speaker believes that business contacts hold great promise and expressed gratitude to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for their revival. High hopes are pinned on the Belarusian-Indian investment forum,which will be held in the city of Chandigarh by the end of the year. Mikhail Myasnikovich called to prepare concrete projects for the forum. In addition, he proposed to speed up the process of implementing the agreements already reached.

The speaker talkrf about joint projects that are being implemented in Belarus, in particular in pharmaceuticals. Mikhail Myasnikovich believes that this is not enough and invited the business representatives to express their opinion on ways of revving up investment activities in the special economic zone of Bremino-Orsha. “We have created a comfortable legal environment there. We hope that the Indian business will increase their engagement in this project. We would like it to become a Belarusian-Indian investment cluster,” he said.

On behalf of India, the meeting was attended by the heads of companies in the field of metallurgy, food industry and oil refining took part in the meeting. Director of Bajaj Industries (textile equipment) Pankaj Bajaj noted that the issues related to the development of trade are successfully resolved. He highlighted ties between India's largest coal-mining company Coal India and the BelAZ engineering company. According to him, Indian business intends to continue cooperating with Belarus and shows interest in special economic regimes that Belarusian legislation can provide to it.

During the Belarusian president's visit to India in September 2017, the parties signed bilateral documents on cooperation in the oil and gas sector, science, technology, education and research for agriculture, and also culture, vocational education, youth policy.

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