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Opinions & Interviews

28 Jan 2014

Cooperation between Vitebsk, Smolensk Oblasts will improve people's living standards

Cooperation between Vitebsk, Smolensk Oblasts will improve people's living standards

VITEBSK, 28 January (BelTA) – Strengthening of cooperation between Vitebsk and Smolensk Oblasts will improve the quality of life of people, Vitebsk Oblast Governor Alexander Kosinets told media after the ceremony of signing the action plan of trade, economic, sci-tech, humanitarian and cultural cooperation between Smolensk Oblast (Russian Federation) and Vitebsk Oblast (Republic of Belarus) for 2014-2015, BelTA has learnt.

According to the Vitebsk Oblast Governor, the signed document is an elaborate action plan, which, first of all, includes organizational and administrative events. Their implementation will promote the development of the industry, agriculture, construction, and the social sphere of the two friendly neighboring oblasts. “It means new joint companies and logistic centers, cooperation in agriculture, creation of jobs, innovation and investment. This points to the further development of the human capital of Smolensk and Vitebsk Oblasts. I am absolutely confident that together with Alexei Ostrovsky we will implement all the plans, which will provide an opportunity for economic development of both Smolensk and Vitebsk Oblasts,” Alexander Kosinets said.

In his words, the document is based on a solid foundation. In 2013 the trade between Vitebsk and Smolensk Oblasts exceeded $277 million. “It is the biggest figure over the past decade. However, sizing up the situation, we have come up to the conclusion that we should increase the mutual trade two times or even higher by the end of 2015. There are opportunities to set up joint companies, invest and improve the operation of the existing companies, which is turn will improve the people's quality of life. This is the main thing and it is outlined in our joint action plan,” the Vitebsk Oblast Governor said.

Vitebsk and Smolensk Oblasts sign plan of action to promote cooperationSmolensk Oblast Governor Alexei Ostrovsky stressed that the visit of the Vitebsk Oblast delegation led by Governor Alexander Kosinets brings hopes for the implementation of serious tasks. “We have been intensifying cooperation, and, as Alexander Kosinets rightfully mentioned, it is still far from being perfect. Belarus still has its reserves, but, first of all, we, Smolensk people, should make efforts in certain areas. Smolensk Oblast is open to Belarusian goods producers and is ready to provide them with necessary assistance. This agreement is not a framework one, it is aimed at concrete results,” Alexei Ostrovsky said.

Vitebsk and Smolensk Oblasts sign action plan for 2014-2015In 2013 the trade between Vitebsk and Smolensk Oblasts exceeded $277 million, including exports - $179 million, imports - $98.1 million. Food products account for 42% of the exports to Smolensk Oblast. Main imports include copper and aluminum wire (33%), ammonium nitrate, clothes (8% each), steel products, aluminum doors and windows, plastic building materials. Vitebsk Oblast also imports sunflower and colza oil, fish products.

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