Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Irkutsk Oblast Sergei Levchenko

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Belarus is ready to take mutual beneficial trade and economic relations with Irkutsk Oblast to the next level. Belarus is ready to implement new joint projects. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with Governor of Russia’s Irkutsk Oblast Sergei Levchenko on 15 November.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We are ready to considerably increase mutual trade figures. We are going to do everything we can. Trust me on this. All the agreements you will reach during this visit will be fulfilled rigorously. I am convinced that your current visit will contribute to the further advancement of our cooperation.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Sergei Levchenko on a recent birthday and wished him good health, long life, and every success. “I am convinced that thanks to professional skills and management experience you will continue facilitating cooperation between Irkutsk Oblast and Belarus in every sphere,” noted the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that it has been nearly two years since the previous visit of the governor to Belarus. The old agreements have been implemented fueling the growth of bilateral trade.

Trade in machines, vehicles, equipment

Irkutsk Oblast is a region with a well-developed industrial sector. It is home to a large number of mining and extracting companies. Haul trucks made by Belarusian BelAZ traditionally enjoy strong demand in the region, noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned Belarusian buses, which had already been sold to Irkutsk Oblast. Belarus can now offer new modern and environmentally friendly products. “I am convinced that as you visited our companies Belkommunmash and Stadler Minsk, you were made familiar with their environmentally friendly products. Russia has abundant supplies of hydrocarbons but the world is moving towards clean products. Russia is not last in this regard,” said the President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested another avenue of cooperation – the processing of industrial wood and the implementation of the relevant mutually beneficial projects in this sphere. The Belarusian company Amkodor offers modern forest harvesters. “We use a lot of them in Belarus,” said the head of state. “They have already been tried and tested in Russia, Belarus, and other international markets. Those are good machines.”

Belarus also offers new agricultural machines to Irkutsk Oblast such as tractors, forage and grain harvesters, which technical characteristics and quality are on par with foreign competition. Yet the Belarusian products offer a better value for money. “We can work together in this field as well,” suggested Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Manufacturing cooperation in the production sector

“We have strong hopes for the long-term advancement of manufacturing cooperation ties between Belarusian and Irkutsk Oblast industrial enterprises,” said the Belarusian leader.

As an example of successful work Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the establishment of an enterprise to assemble Mogilevliftmash products in Usolye.

Irkutsk Aviation Plant is a flagship of the Russian mechanical engineering industry. The company intends to start making MC-21 aircraft in 2019. “We have our sights on this aircraft. Our aviators have suggested buying aircraft like these,” continued the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also stressed that Belarus has ambitious plans concerning potential cooperation opportunities. In particular, he suggested manufacturing cooperation with the relevant Belarusian companies and the aircraft repair plant, which manufacturing facilities are now located near the MinskNationalAirport. “Since we have the experience of maintenance of Soviet period aircraft, we would like to repurpose our enterprises and our [aircraft repair] plant. We can expand the enterprise if there is work to do for the team. But we would be strongly interested in establishing manufacturing cooperation with your company,” said the Belarusian leader.

Cooperation in agriculture

Cooperation with Irkutsk Oblast in agribusiness also looks promising. “As far as agriculture is concerned – animal husbandry, crop farming, the introduction of new technologies – we already maintain cooperation. You should know that we treat you like friends and family. We are always ready to share everything we have,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state went on saying that Belarus has an example of successful cooperation in agribusiness even with the remote Russian island of Sakhalin. “Over there we’ve managed to set up a dairy farm able to make up to 10,000 tonnes of milk and we’ve managed to select the fitting land. It turns out it can be done even on SakhalinIsland. It can be easily done in Irkutsk Oblast, too,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.

“Our agrarians have everything necessary starting with scientists and ending with manufacturers. We are ready to help any way we can if you need it,” assured the head of state.

Cooperation in civil engineering

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that a massive housing construction program is in progress in Irkutsk Oblast and the rest of Russia. “Well done. You are creating infrastructure and reconstructing motorways. If we can lend a helping hand, we will be pleased to participate in some projects ranging from design to turn-key construction,” said the head of state.

In his words, the offer of cooperation also applies to sport facilities. “Turn-key construction if necessary,” noted the head of state.

In January-August 2018 Belarus’ trade with Russia’s Irkutsk Oblast totaled $67.1 million, 33.4% up from the same period of last year. Belarus’ export rose by 120% to $37.7 million.