Meeting with Ivanovo Oblast Governor Pavel Konkov
Belarus is eager to expand the delivery of products with a high added value to Ivanovo Oblast, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia’s Ivanovo Oblast Pavel Konkov on 15 April.
“I am very glad to see you in Belarus, and I would like you to learn more about our country,” the head of state said. Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the visit of the Ivanovo Oblast delegation to Belarus is timely. Meanwhile, he noted with regret that last year the trade turnover of Belarus and Ivanovo Oblast fell by about 20%. However, at the beginning of 2016 the sides managed to make up leeway by raising the bilateral trade. “This is a good trend and we must preserve it,” the President emphasized.
The head of state explained that he draws such close attention to boosting bilateral trade because the trade and economic cooperation is the foundation of any relations. He added: “There are no problems in other fields. We are united; therefore, there are no disagreements between us. Our successes are your successes, your successes are our successes.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that in the current difficult economic situation in the world every country needs both to expand its presence on conventional sales markets and do its best to diversify sales markets. In this context, the head of state spoke about the results of his participation in the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, during which he had a number of bilateral talks with foreign leaders. “My goal was absolutely clear. The meetings of this level give an opportunity to talk to a number of foreign leaders and discuss the roadmaps of promising cooperation, analyze the progress in the implementation of bilateral agreements, for example, with Pakistan,” the Belarusian leader remarked. Apart from that, the talks in Istanbul focused on the possibility of Belarus’ participation in the peaceful economic development of Libya, Afghanistan. The expansion of trade and economic cooperation with Indonesia was on the agenda as well.
As for the enhancement of trade and economic ties with Ivanovo Oblast, Belarus is interested in establishing industrial cooperation, including in such traditional cooperation avenues as the textile industry and flax growing. “We used to grow a lot of flax, but unfortunately this production was stopped. We are currently restoring this industry and are ready for the serious cooperation with Ivanovo Oblast not only in the flax industry but also in the textile industry in general,” the head of state said. By the way, the joint trade enterprise Belarusian Flax – Ivanovo has been operating in Ivanovo for five years. Judging by the interested dialogue, the number of such positive cooperation examples will increase in the near future.
The President expressed confidence that the economies of Belarus and Ivanovo Oblast are very similar, they can complement each other. Aleksandr Lukashenko deems it necessary to maintain close contracts with partners from Ivanovo Oblast to advance cooperation in such fields as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. “We have an open economy. More than a half of the products made in Belarus are exported. We are ready to expand the product range and are looking for new sales markets. We are going to build up cooperation with Ivanovo Oblast and hope that our cooperation will help us make more products with a high added value,” he stressed.
The head of state invited Russian colleagues to have a closer look at Belarusian enterprises, to see a wide range of Belarusian-made goods. Belarus is ready to deliver these products to Ivanovo Oblast. In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the possibility to develop contacts with this Russian region in agriculture. “As far as the contraction industry is concerned, we can help you build housing, production facilities, agrotowns, animal farms if necessary. You can see all that in Belarus, and if you like what you will see, we can cooperate,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that all the agreements reached during the visit of the Russian delegation will be implemented. “We will fulfill all the agreement on time,” the head of state promised. He underlined that large state-run enterprises united in holding companies stay behind these promises, and the state is responsible for these enterprises. “We can be criticized for not privatizing everything, but now we are getting only positive results from it,” the head of state assured. “We will definitely keep our promises, and the government will keep it under control.”
Pavel Konkov, in turn, pointed out the importance of the fact that Aleksandr Lukashenko draws much attention to the development of contacts with Russian regions. He agreed that the expansion of the trade and economic cooperation is mutually beneficial. The governor stressed that it is always easy to find common language with directors of Belarusian enterprises. Ivanovo Oblast and Belarusian enterprises have maintained contacts for a long time. Pavel Konkov cited Ivanovo-made crane trucks running on MAZ chassis as an example, and added that this equipment is widely used by Russian builders. The governor of Ivanovo Oblast suggested resuming such industrial cooperation which is very productive.
There are many promising avenues for bilateral cooperation.
During the visit to Bellegprom Concern the Russian delegation will take part in the first session of the working group for cooperation between Belarus and Ivanovo Oblast. The sides will work out an action plan to promote economic, scientific, technical, and cultural contacts in 2016-2017.
The President expressed confidence that the visit of the Ivanovo Oblast delegation will help enhance mutually beneficial bilateral ties with Belarus.