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Opinions & Interviews

1 Apr 2014

Makei: Belarus, Russia interested in implementation of industrial integration projects

Makei: Belarus, Russia interested in implementation of industrial integration projects

MINSK, 1 April (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia are interested in the implementation of industrial integration projects, Belarus’ Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in an interview to the Soyuz-Eurasia supplement to the newspaper Zvezda. The interview has been published on the Belarusian Foreign Ministry website, BelTA has learnt.

At the moment work is underway on five industrial integration projects: the automobile holding company Rosbelavto (OAO MAZ - OAO KamAZ), OAO Integral and OAO Russian electronics of the state corporation Russian Technologies, OAO Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant and the state corporation Russian Technologies, OAO Peleng and the federal space agency Roscosmos, OAO Grodno Azot and OAO Mineral and Chemical Company EuroChem or OOO Gazprom Investproject. Belarusian-Russian working groups have been established to oversee each project. They comprise representatives of enterprises and top officials of the Industry Ministry, the State Defense Industries Committee of the Republic of Belarus, Belneftekhim concern and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Russian Defense Ministry and the federal space agency Roscosmos. The overall progress of the implementation of these projects is overseen at the level of vice premiers of Belarus and Russia.

“The Belarusian side is firmly committed to its approaches to the conditions of integration based on the need to ensure competitiveness and successful operation of our enterprises in the medium and long term. Particular attention is paid to pushing our joint products to third countries’ markets,” said the Minister. The two Presidents’ agreements reached during the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Union State on 25 December 2013 gave a new impetus to the negotiation process on these projects.

“Large enterprises from both sides are involved in the integration. These companies are vital for the national economies. Hasty decisions are not acceptable here. Conversely, we need thorough long-term calculations. Both sides are interested in the implementation of these integration projects. Success hinges on the quality of the preparatory stage. Such work is already underway, and the Belarusian side considers the pace of progress normal,” said Vladimir Makei.

“We hope that with the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union the process of integration of industrial assets and the establishment of single corporations will accelerate,” said Vladimir Makei. The most export-oriented areas in Belarus are chemical and refining industries along with automotive and food industry. In this respect Kazakhstan relies most on the production of energy and metals and also on its chemical plants. The most export-oriented areas in Russia are fuel and energy complex and metallurgical and chemical companies. According to the Minister, cooperation could benefit chemical enterprises in Belarus and Kazakhstan and companies producing metals in Kazakhstan and Russia. Oil companies and refineries of the Customs Union could be integrated into a single system. The industries where interpenetration increases can serve as a basis for the establishment of joint ventures and industrial cooperation. A number of joint ventures to produce Belarusian machinery (tractors, harvesters, mining machinery, engines, elevators and other goods) have already been established in Kazakhstan. Similar businesses are also operating successfully in the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Makei suggested accelerating the establishment of the common market of the Single Economic Space member states. The implementation of the coordinated industrial and agricultural policy should be quicker, too. “This will harmonize approaches to work on the main investment projects and help attract foreign investment and avoid overlapping capacities, excessive internal competition and inefficient use of resources,” he said.

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