Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Bryansk Oblast Governor Nikolai Denin
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that Belarus and Bryansk Oblast will be able to increase trade up to $1 billion in 2014. Aleksandr Lukashenko made this statement as he met with Bryansk Oblast Governor Nikolai Denin on 25 November.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that since the last meeting with the Bryansk Oblast Governor in 2005 the bilateral trade has soared five times to near $900 million in 2012. The positive trend remained in place throughout this year.
The Belarusian head of state remarked that Bryansk Oblast is among Belarus’ major trading partners in Russia. He added that Belarus has never had problems with the neighboring Russian regions. “We are very proud of that. You are very responsive to our requests and suggestions. I think we have never let you down. If not for cooperation with Russian regional authorities, we would not be able to maintain normal relations with the Russian Federation. You saved this cooperation when we had uneasy and strained relations at the very start of our way, during the formation of our state and the Russian Federation. We have multiplied what we achieved back then,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Speaking about specific cooperation areas, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus is ready to meet the needs of Bryansk Oblast in machinery and construction materials. “We should not lag behind the integration processes going on between our countries. Therefore, now we need to focus on implementing mutually beneficial joint projects, not just increasing the trade, although it is important, too,” the Belarusian head of state said. He noted that Gomselmash and Amkodor machines are now produced in Bryansk Oblast. According to the head of state, these joint projects have a powerful combined effect, which allows increasing the bilateral trade and creating new jobs.
Aleksandr Lukashenko deems it necessary to promote industrial cooperation, diversify the model line-up of machines and consider new cooperation forms. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that joint ventures should be meant both for the Russian market and the markets of third countries.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus and Bryansk Oblast have a considerable cooperation potential in cattle breeding, crop production, as well as manufacture and processing of agricultural products.
According the Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus counts on successful cooperation in the construction industry. Belarusian specialists take part in the construction of residential houses and infrastructure facilities in Bryansk Oblast and are ready to take part in more construction projects.
“In other words, we are neighbors and we are open for cooperation,” the President said. He added that Belarus will be glad to consider any cooperation proposals of Bryansk Oblast.
Bryansk Oblast Governor Nikolai Denin also welcomed the increase in the bilateral trade.
He praised successful operation of the joint ventures established in Bryansk Oblast. He said that the products manufactured there are quite competitive in terms of price and quality. He informed that joint ventures to process meat and dairy products are under construction in Bryansk Oblast.
According to Vice-Premier of Belarus Mikhail Rusy, the discussed integration projects might be implemented as early as the beginning of 2015. The projects involve joint use of raw materials and processing of goods.
Potato production is another promising cooperation project. Belarus suggests using the capacities of one of major agricultural companies of Gomel Oblast. “We are now mulling over the establishment of a joint holding company and a potato processing plant. Thus, we will be able to sell our products together and simultaneously construct a logistics center to process vegetables and prepare them for sale,” Mikhail Rusy said.
Belarus might as well supply municipal transport to Bryansk Oblast.
According to Vice-Governor, Deputy Premier of Bryansk Oblast Alexander Kasatsky, projects in agribusiness look very promising. “Of course, we would like to accelerate this integration. Joint investments in this field are quite feasible and will pay back soon,” he said.
Nikolai Denin suggested selling food products together and establishing a joint venture to be better able to compete with big retail chains. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to enable producers to get the added value from selling their products.
The Governor noted that Bryansk Oblast would like to study Belarus’ expertise and knowledge in developing small towns.
“Compared to other neighbors, the cooperation with Bryansk Oblast is probably the most fruitful, efficient and mutually beneficial,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.