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Opinions & Interviews

4 Oct 2019

Belarus suggests prioritizing technological innovations in EaP cooperation

Belarus suggests prioritizing technological innovations in EaP cooperation

MINSK, 4 October (BelTA) – Belarus suggests making technological innovations a new priority in cooperation in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said at the Belarus-EU structured consultations on the future of the Eastern Partnership, BelTA has learned.

Oleg Kravchenko thanked the EU representation for the organization of such an important event. “Such a big number of Eastern Partnership friends that gathered here today shows that this initiative became closer and clearer for our people. We would like Belarus to be more recognizable in the EU,” the deputy minister said.
“Eastern Partnership is a tool that can help us in this. One of its current crosscutting priorities is strategic communication, which we understand as raising awareness of each other, promoting joint achievements. In the future it is necessary for the Eastern Partnership to work more actively on the image of the EU neighboring countries, making them more visible and recognizable abroad. Let as many ordinary people, businessmen, and politicians in the West as possible learn about the cultural heritage, tourism opportunities, economic, educational, scientific potential of the countries on the other side of the border,” the deputy minister said.

“We suggest making technological innovations a new crosscutting priority of our cooperation,” he continued. “Today both the economy and everyday life in the EU are rapidly adjusting to the norms and standards of the industry 4.0. We see the solution to the problem in the implementation of high-tech projects in all sectors of our cooperation, promotion of new technologies in the EU neighboring countries, integration of their industry 4.0 companies into the European production chains.

According to Oleg Kravchenko, Minsk is ready to host the Eastern Partnership IT school that would train specialists of the digital industry for all the partners. “We can also think over a permanent digital showcase of the Eastern Partnership at one of the EU’s largest innovation centers to promote the IT potential of our six countries,” he said.

The deputy minister also highlighted the topic of transport and energy communications which are vital for both the EU and its partners, whose economies are very dependent on reliable ties with neighbors. “Investment in sections of the European transport network TEN-T, according to the Eastern Partnership indicative action plan adopted last year, should become a priority in the coming years. Special attention should be paid to the development of international digital transport corridors,” said the deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Belarus hopes that a similar action plan will be developed for investment in the EU partner countries.

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