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Opinions & Interviews

4 Feb 2016

Batura: Sister-city relations are becoming a solid basis for boosting exports

Batura: Sister-city relations are becoming a solid basis for boosting exports

MINSK, 4 February (BelTA) – In the present-day conditions sister-city relations are becoming a robust foundation for increasing and diversifying Belarusian exports, member of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, Chairman of the Belarusian organization Sister-Cities Boris Batura said at the meeting of the board of the organization on 4 February, BelTA informs.

“The sister-city movement is acquiring special significance in the contemporary context and promotes expansion of bilateral economic relations. That is why we focus our efforts on expanding sister-city relations with other states,” said Boris Batura.

He stressed that in 2015 sister-city relations were actively restored and developed. Four large-scale meetings of Belarus’ sister-cities with Latvia, Germany, Russia and Poland last year testifies to the fact. Thus, the 3rd Belarusian-Latvian meeting was a success in Orsha in April. In October Frankfurt an der Oder hosted a youth Belarusian-German conference.

The 8th meeting of Belarusian and Russian sister-cities which took place in Podolsk in November 2015 was the biggest sister-city event last year. Partaking in it were representatives of 33 Russian and 22 Belarusian cities (a total of nearly 200 people). Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a letter of greetings to the participants of the meeting. He stressed in his letter that close cooperation between Belarus and Russia promoted social and economic development of the two countries.

Besides, in December 2015 Grodno played host to the 3rd meeting of sister-cities and partners of Belarus and Poland. The meeting highlighted the partnership of cities as an instrument for a constructive dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation. Belarus and Poland have 26 and 36 sister-cities respectively. 12 Polish and 11 Belarusian cities boast partner relations.

Executive Secretary of the Belarusian public organization Sister-Cities Nina Ivanova named Mogilev as one of the cities with the best record of sister-city ties. Mogilev has 16 sister-cities, 18 partners and 9 cities with which Mogilev has signed memorandums of understanding.

On the whole, 32 members of the Sister-Cities organization have 421 sister-cities in 37 countries.

The action plan for 2016 includes further efforts to strengthen sister-city relations of Belarus. Among the events scheduled for the new year is the 9th meeting of Belarusian and German sister-cities, a conference with heads of Austrian municipal administrations, a meeting with heads of municipal administrations of Kazakhstan. Among the plans of the Belarusian cities are a lot of new mutually beneficial economic and social projects with foreign sister-cities and partners.

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