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Opinions & Interviews

24 Apr 2019

OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group Conference in Minsk to focus on economy

OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group Conference in Minsk to focus on economy

MINSK, 24 April (BelTA) – Minsk will host the 2nd International Parliamentary Conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Silk Road Support Group “Belt and Road: strengthening cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity” on 28-30 April. The agenda of the conference will focus on economic matters, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Boleslav Pirshtuk told journalists.

“Belarus would like to once again set up an image platform to attract the attention of major partners. The agenda will chiefly deal with economic matters. This is above all investment attractiveness. Secondly, Belarus is a linking bridge between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. We have good infrastructure and logistics. Basically Europeans have no other corridors linking them with their major partners in the West and East,” Boleslav Pirshtuk said.

Two major overland routes go via Belarus, he stressed. “This is a huge advantage, and it is not just cargoes, goods and investment. I believe that this is a new stage in the overall development of economy, infrastructure, humanitarian projects, and we we see this as a large reserve to tap into. We are set to adopt the Minsk Declaration. We will try to incorporate in it certain theses and messages that would be clear not only to Belarus, that would drum up the interest among our partners in this cooperation. We will show our capabilities,” Boleslav Pirshtuk noted.

For example, Belarus plans to demonstrate the potential of the Great Stone industrial park. “We will make an emphasis on innovation, new technology, digital economy. All this is needed to support the projects that will grow along the route. It is important for us to draw technologies, especially those with regard to digitalization. It is important that they permeate all spheres of life in the country. Our partners have these technologies developed at a high level. It is important for us that they feel interest in communication and cooperation with us,” the vice speaker noted.

The conference will also pay special attention to humanitarian cooperation, tourism. “We would like to show the beauty of our country. There are not so many countries in Europe with good climate and beautiful nature. We are developing factory tours, sport and medical tourism. Many of these areas are of interest to our partners,” Boleslav Pirshtuk said.

The OSCE PA Silk Road Support Group was set up at the 26th Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk in 2017. The group is designed to expand the areas of cooperation and strengthen political, economic and cultural relations between the participating states. The group plays a role of a platform to promote mutually beneficial economic and trade ties, in particular through promoting connectivity and developing transport corridors, transport and trade facilitation measures, promoting free and secure movement of persons, goods, services and investments.

The first conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Silk Road Support Group took place in Azerbaijan in March 2018. The purpose of the Minsk event is to present economic and investment capabilities of Belarus as an important hub of the Silk Road economic belt. The Minsk conference will be attended by MPs and business representatives from Austria, Azerbaijan, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Switzerland.

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