Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Kursk Oblast Roman Starovoyt

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Belarus and Russia’s Kursk Oblast need to shift from traditional trade to creation of joint manufacturing companies, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Kursk Oblast Governor Roman Starovoyt on 9 June.

In 2020 Kursk Oblast adopted the social and economic development strategy through 2030. The president confirmed Belarus’ readiness to participate in programs to modernize key sectors of the economy of the Russian region. “I think Belarus will find its place in the implementation of these plans,” the head of state stressed.

“We need to move from simple trade to the creation of joint productions. Joint ventures seem promising. We may start from assembling machinery your region needs,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to the president, Belarus has an extensive and successful experience of cooperation in manufacturing various types of equipment. “We can share our best practices,” he said.

According to the head of state, Belarus has the necessary resources to participate in Russian import substitution programs. Cooperation in this area was discussed at the highest level.

"President Putin and I recently made such a decision. For our part, we offered Russia specific projects that are very needed and will be in demand in the near future not only in Belarus but also in the Russian Federation. Russia will earmark about $1.5 billion for these programs in Belarus. We understand that without replacing imports, especially in critical industries, the so-called critical imports, we will struggle to develop," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“Even though we have not reached great results in terms of mutual trade ($205-210 million), we still see a good growth. There is only one drawback: we have a trade deficit. But we are ready to even out that deficit. The main thing is that we have something to compensate for it,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to the president, special attention should be focused on the most promising areas of cooperation: construction, industrial cooperation, agro-industrial complex. “We are interested in increasing supplies of mining vehicles, trucks, agricultural machinery, construction and road machinery to your region,” the head of state said.

Kursk Oblast is aiming to make it into top 10 Russian regions in sustainable development. Belarus is ready to assist in achieving this goal, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“We are ready to provide you with services for home renovation, design, engineering surveys. We are ready to build on a turnkey basis. We are ready to supply elevator equipment,” the president said.

According to him, the parties can successfully complement each other in the agro-industrial complex, including processing of products, agricultural engineering, breeding, crop and seed production. “We would be happy to get involved in the implementation of these projects in your region. We are ready to introduce modern technologies and equipment for water treatment and water disposal. Clean water means human health. This program is successfully implemented in Belarus. If necessary, we can get involved in implementation of similar projects in your region,” the head of state added.

“We are ready to do everything I said on a turnkey basis. Not just trade and supply something to your area. You have to understand and know it very well that selling goods s one thing. Setting up a joint venture, designing and implementing social and industrial turnkey projects is what we can do it and we are ready to take responsibility for it. We are ready to compete in price and quality terms,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president explained why Belarusian builders have such advantages: “Everyone wants to earn big money, to build quickly, ignoring the quality. We are responsible people, we have the most powerful state sector. We have not destroyed it. Keeping in mind the fact that the state is behind the state companies, construction trusts, it bears the corresponding responsibility at the state level.”

“If you decide to work with Belarus, I can guarantee the full responsibility of our companies, both private and public. We are ready to answer for their work on your land,” the Belarusian leader said.