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Opinions & Interviews

22 Oct 2018

Belarus eager to step up interparliamentary cooperation with Italy

Belarus eager to step up interparliamentary cooperation with Italy
Photo courtesy of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus

MINSK, 22 October (BelTA) – Belarus counts on more vigorous cooperation with Italy. The matter was discussed as Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Marianna Shchetkina met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Belarus Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi on 22 October, BelTA has learned.

Chairman of the International Affairs and National Security Commission of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament Sergei Rakhmanov also took part in the meeting.

Marianna Shchetkina mentioned Belarus’ interest in stronger parliamentary partnership with Italy. The sides paid close attention to prospects of setting up an interparliamentary friendship group, which would help expand bilateral cooperation.

Marianna Shchetkina mentioned positive dynamics in Belarus-Italy trade. In 2017 Belarus-Italy trade rose by more than 20% and reserves for further growth are available. In turn, Belarus is ready to enable comfortable conditions for the operation of Italian companies in Belarus and for the implementation of joint projects.

Opportunities for Belarus-Italy cooperation in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, interaction of women unions, and the implementation of humanitarian projects were also mentioned. “We expect that with your support contacts between our countries will be even stronger while bilateral interaction will be productive,” added Marianna Shchetkina.

In turn, the ambassador said he hopes that in 2019 Belarus-Italy trade may go beyond €1 billion.

Close attention was paid to the development of tourism between Belarus and Italy. The ambassador noted that Belarus’ visa-free travel program had sparked interest in the country among foreigners, including among Italians. “Belarusian tourism has huge potential, particularly taking into account the 2nd European Games Minsk 2019,” he stressed.

Apart from that, the sides discussed humanitarian projects, as part of which Belarusian kids visit Italy. Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi promised to provide support for these projects. In turn, Marianna Shchetkina suggested organizing recreation for Italian kids in Belarus, for instance, in the education and recreation center Zubrenok.

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