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Opinions & Interviews

17 Nov 2017

Belarus-Ukraine interregional cooperation hailed as promising

Belarus-Ukraine interregional cooperation hailed as promising

GOMEL, 17 November (BelTA) - Interregional cooperation between Belarus and Ukraine is very promising, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Belarus Igor Kizim said during an introductory visit to Gomel Oblast, BelTA has learned.

Igor Kizim noted that Ukraine and Belarus have great potential in the field of economic cooperation. Now, great attention is paid to the development of interregional relations. This is a promising area. Gomel Oblast occupies a worthy place in it because it has close ties with neighboring regions, notably with Chernigov Oblast and Kiev Oblast. And it should continue to build ties with other Ukrainian regions, he said.

There are many common themes for Belarus-Ukraine cooperation in the cultural, tourism and humanitarian fields, the diplomat believes. In particular, he suggested that the Belarusian language be taught in Ukraine and Ukrainian in Belarus, even as an optional course. This issue was discussed during the meeting with Chairman of the Gomel City Hall Piotr Kirichenko.

Ambassador Igor Kizim also visited Gomselmash, one of the largest exporters of agricultural machinery on the Ukrainian market. Nikolaev is home to the joint assembly facility which produces up to 200 vehicles per year. Intentions have been recently voiced to open another joint venture in Kherson. According to first deputy director of regional sales at Gomselmash Igor Korotkevich, the share of Belarusian harvesters on the Ukrainian market is 20%. “The Gomel enterprise is interested in more active inclusion of the Belarusian equipment in the state agriculture financing program in Ukraine, and the visit of the Ambassador may give a positive impetus to this,” he believes.

During a meeting with Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee Vladimir Dvornik, the diplomat got familiar with the of preparation of the first Belarusian-Ukrainian interregional cooperation forum. The decision to hold it in Gomel was taken during a meeting between Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in July this year.

In the Gomel Office of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ambassador Igor Kizim talked to its top executives and representatives of a number of enterprises in the region.

In 2016 the trade between Gomel Oblast and Ukraine amounted to more than $398 million (up by 28%). Major exporters are Gomel Chemical Plant, Mozyr Oil Refinery, Belorusneft, Gomelsteklo, and Gomelselmash. Major importers are Svetlogorsk Plant of Welding Electrodes, Belarusian Steel Mill, Mozyr Oil Refinery.

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