Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Novosibirsk Oblast Governor Vasily Yurchenko

    Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast need to boost cooperation in high technology and knowledge-intensive industries, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast of Russia Vasily Yurchenko.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that cooperation with Russian regions has always been of high significance for Belarus.

    According to the head of state, Novosibirsk Oblast is one of Belarus’ most important trading partners among the regions of Siberia, Urals and Far East. Last year the trade between Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast increased 1.7 times over 2010 to exceed $200 million. Belarus’ main exports to Novosibirsk Oblast are engineering products. “Our companies are ready to satisfy the demand of your region for any equipment we produce,” the President of Belarus said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that in the current economic situation it is important to raise cooperation to a qualitatively new level. In his words, no one will benefit much from simple barter operations. The head of state believes that there is a need to develop bilateral projects based on the integration of resources, production, technological and human capacities. "They should be focused on the manufacture of high-tech and knowledge-based product that will be competitive in the markets of third countries," the President said.

    The President noted that the formation of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space has created favorable conditions for the integration of the economies. There are virtually no barriers to the bilateral relations. “Joint projects in the area of passenger transport, agricultural machinery, agro-industrial processing may be of interest from the point of view of production cooperation,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the scientific advances of Novosibirsk Oblast. “Famous Akademgorodok is one of the world's largest academic centers and combines resources of four Russian academies of science,” the Belarusian leader noted and underlined that Belarus also has some achievements in science and technology it can be proud of.

    “It is beneficial for us to cooperate with scientists of this region. I believe we should distinguish this sector as a special area of cooperation as your economy is also based on scientific achievements,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President suggested compiling a joint list of scientific and technocal projects of mutual interest. “Their implementation should be among the priorities of Belarus-Novosibirsk Oblast cooperation," the head of state believes.

    The head of state praised the idea of setting up a business cooperation council between Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast. “Belarus has already gained valuable experience of mutually beneficial operation of these organizations not only with Russian regions but also across the world,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus views this Russian region as a reliable and promising partner.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed hope that the current visit would promote cooperation of Belarus not only with Novosibirsk Oblast but with the Russian Federation in general.

    Vasily Yurchenko, in turn, said that Novosibirsk Oblast views economic cooperation with Belarus as strategic one. At the same time, the sides should do more to raise trade turnover.

    According the Vasily Yurchenko, Novosibirsk Oblast is a major consumer of the products made by several Belarusian enterprises, primarily Minsk Tractor Works. “Last year Novosibirsk Oblast bought 800 vehicles from Minsk Tractor Works while the Siberian Federal District bought 2,500 vehicles”.

    According to Vasily Yurchenko, the potential of the mechanical engineering industry of Novosibirsk Oblast should be more fully used. In particular, he suggested using it to make agricultural machines together on mutually beneficial terms.

    As part of the visit the delegation of Novosibirsk Oblast is going to partake in the forum of business cooperation between Belarus and the region. The event is expected to give an impetus to the development of bilateral relations. Moreover, the delegation jointly with the government of Belarus worked out an all-round action plan to promote cooperation.

    Cooperation in civil engineering is another promising area. Belarus can share its achievements in designing, modernizing, and repairing buildings. There is an interest of the Belarusian side in learning experience of Novosibirsk Oblast. Some time ago the modern exhibition complex Sibexpocenter was commissioned. “It is interesting for us. We are building an exhibition center, too and we are interested in your construction experience,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said .

    The meeting also touched upon the possibility of combining the scientific potentials of Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast.

    Sergei Bagayev, Director of the Laser Physics Institute of the Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said they pay a lot of attention to creating new breakthrough technologies. Participation of scientists of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus would be advisable, he remarked. He suggested setting up a special working group to discuss cooperation in such breakthrough areas.

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed NASB Chairman of the Presidium Anatoly Rusetsky to review the matter in detail in association with Russian colleagues.