Economic ideas aren’t born without meetings
Molodechno hosts First Belarusian-Lithuanian Regional Co-operation Forum
By Mikhail Belsky
The forum coincided with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and Lithuania, with 54 co-operative agreements signed between the regions and cities of our two states.
According to experts, direct collaboration between the regions accounts for up to 30 percent of turnover growth between Belarus and Lithuania annually, creating the foundation for the Belarusian-Lithuanian forum.
Lithuania is traditionally Belarus’ most important economic partner, with trade-economic relations developing sustainably and positively. According to Andrey Krutalevich, the First Secretary of the Belarusian Embassy to Lithuania, if these trends continue, total turnover in goods and services between Belarus and Lithuania may reach $2bn this year.
Lithuania and the Minsk Region are long connected. In 2011, foreign trade turnover totalled $124m — up 40 percent on last year. According to Alexander Yermak, Deputy Chairman of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee, Lithuania is ranked second after Russia for the number of established enterprises in the Minsk Region involving foreign capital.
Lithuanian investments have allowed two transport and logistics centres to be constructed, alongside a seafood processing plant and a BMW automobile centre — not to mention an ice cream factory. Moreover, a forest harvesting and wood chip manufacturing enterprise is being modernised and a rapeseed processing plant is successfully operating. Soon, a chain of small universal stores will appear across the region, placed within suburbs for easy access.
The organisers of the forum are confident that the number of projects will rise considerably following the event. In total, the forum in Molodechno brought together over 200 participants, 14 Lithuanian delegations.