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Opinions & Interviews

11 Jul 2017

Prospects of advancing Belarus’ cooperation with Egypt, Sudan analyzed

Prospects of advancing Belarus’ cooperation with Egypt, Sudan analyzed

MINSK, 11 July (BelTA) – Belarus is working hard on promising avenues for advancing cooperation with Egypt and Sudan, BelTA learned from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Egypt with concurrent accreditation to Sudan Sergei Rachkov during the government conference held on 11 July to discuss Belarus’ foreign policy priorities in modern times.

According to the source, Belarus’ merchandise export to Egypt increased considerably in January-May. Roadmaps to advance Belarus’ cooperation with Egypt and Sudan in 2017-2018 have been developed with a focus on trade and economic cooperation. “In Egypt and Sudan we are introducing the project approach to export promotion into practice,” said Sergei Rachkov.

In his words, ways of implementing joint projects in Egypt have been determined in the area of agriculture, including the establishment of meat and dairy farms and greenhouse farming enterprises in the country. Selling up to $150 million worth of food to the Egyptian Defense Ministry is a possibility. The first batch of rye flour has been delivered for the sake of baking bread in Egypt using Belarusian technologies.

The Belarusian automaker MAZ in association with the Egyptian Defense and Military Production Ministry is getting ready to commission a factory able to make up to 2,000 vehicles per annum. A unique chassis for special vehicles has been created for the Egyptian customer. The chassis is now being successfully tested in Sinai sands. If the Belarusian company wins the tender, a contract worth up to €9 million may be signed.

Quality changes of the export structure are an important tool for expanding Belarusian presence in Egypt. For instance, products by the Belarusian utility vehicles maker Amkodor will enter the Egyptian market in H2 2017. A dealership agreement has been signed and a commercial contract for selling loaders. Negotiations have begun on a joint manufacturing project in Cairo. Amkodor is expected to win a $3 million contract for selling grain-dryers.

“We are starting to use our manufacturing capabilities in Egypt in more rational ways. The MTZ assembly facility in Alexandria now makes not only tractors but Gomselmash grain harvesters, too,” said Sergei Rachkov.

As part of the efforts to improve the export structure work is in progress on a large project worth hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant may win the contract.

In turn, after the Belarusian head of state visited Sudan, projects have been worked out to set up a joint venture to make meat and dairy products, to make forage, and grow vegetables in greenhouses using Belarusian technologies.

Several projects in the area of power engineering also look promising.

“Then there is gold. After we held negotiations and visited the relevant enterprises, Belarus was invited to participate in gold extraction in North Kurdufan in addition to using Belarusian technologies for gold extraction and enrichment. Belarus was also invited to work out an optimal method for gold ore lab tests. It is a complicated matter. One can and should work on it. We have knowledge and some technologies in this area,” stated the ambassador.

Apart from that, Belneftekhim, the Architecture and Construction Ministry, and the Industry Ministry may participate in Sudanese projects for reconstructing an existing oil refinery in the city of Port Sudan. Belneftekhim may participate in crude oil processing and the manufacturing of oil products.

“Thus, the necessary preparatory work has been done for determining and working out joint projects to be implemented with Egypt and Sudan. The next stage will be the development of the relevant procedures, the approval of financial sources, registration of representative offices, licensing, preparation of project documents, and the launch of projects,” concluded Sergei Rachkov.

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