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Opinions & Interviews

11 Aug 2016

Russia invited to use Belarus as springboard for food export to West

Russia invited to use Belarus as springboard for food export to West

 MINSK, 11 August (BelTA) – Russia could use Belarus as a springboard for exporting agricultural products to the West. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Rusy made the statement as he met with Governor of Russia’s Bryansk Oblast Alexander Bogomaz on 11 August, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about Belarus’ cooperation with Bryansk Oblast in agribusiness, Mikhail Rusy noted that the relevant guidelines had been sketched out. “We are going to work with [major Russian agribusiness holding company Miratorg and utilize our southeastern lands in Mogilev Oblast, northwestern lands in Vitebsk Oblast. We could offer Belarus as a platform that can be used to reach other regions to Miratorg or someone else but we would very much like to see Miratorg here. Because there are various obstacles standing in the way of the Russian company’s greater reach in the West while our base can be used to work more confidently and earn more serious money for each other,” stressed the Deputy Prime Minister.

Apart from that, Mikhail Rusy mentioned there are great prospects for cooperation in light industry. “The Bryansk-based worsted fabric factory Kamvol and our worsted fabric factory Kamvol can do a great deal to develop together. Apart from that, our Orsha Linen Mill is ready to offer the things that the Bryansk enterprise needs,” he explained.

The Deputy Prime Minister underlined that cooperation with Bryansk Oblast should follow a clear-cut policy. “We should work together in accordance with the guidelines we have determined. The program on advancing cooperation between Belarus and Bryansk Oblast that has been developed by specialists on both sides is very specific. But it can be broken down into even smaller sectors. We could put deputy ministers in charge of overseeing each sector and talk seriously at least every quarter of the year,” he stated.

Russia invited to use Belarus as springboard for food export to WestMikhail Rusy pointed out that raising the trade turnover is the key task Belarus and Bryansk Oblast face. “It is necessary to raise the trade turnover to at least the figure registered in 2013 — $0.9-1 billion. It should be noted that our export to you and our import from you are roughly on par. Our interests do not contradict each other but complement each other,” concluded the Deputy Prime Minister.

A number of documents were signed as a result of the meeting, including a program meant to guide the development of cooperation between Belarus and Bryansk Oblast in 2017-2019. Apart from that, the Vitebsk Oblast administration and the Bryansk Oblast government signed an agreement on cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical, humanitarian, and cultural affairs. The Brest Oblast administration and the Bryansk Oblast government signed an action plan on trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation in 2016-2019.

In January-May 2016 Belarus’ trade with Bryansk Oblast totaled $182.3 million, 6% up from the same period of last year. The basic exports were milk and cream, machines and mechanisms for threshing and harvesting agricultural crops, butter, and wallpaper. The basic imports included oil products, ferrous metal waste products and scraps, paper and pasteboard, cement.

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