High time to adjust priorities
Belarus and Russia’s Bryansk Region need to shift from simple merchandise trade to more advanced co-operation
According to Mr. Lukashenko, co-operation in agricultural affairs can become an important direction in our partnership with the Russian region. The President pointed out that, in addition to simply selling its machinery, vehicles or other products, Belarus is ready to take this co-operation to a whole new level.
He explained, “Let’s talk about animal breeding, applying science to agriculture. I believe we should switch from simple exchange [of commodities] to more advanced co-operation across the board, including in agriculture. We’re ready to share everything we have with you because we are neighbours and we’re very much interested in the intensive development of the Pskov, Smolensk and Bryansk regions. This is an indicator of our involvement in the development of agriculture and the industrial sector of the Russian Federation, and shows what we can do for Russians.”
“I’d also like to suggest a more comprehensive approach to the development of our co-operation. We’re ready to participate in an integrated manner in the projects you’re implementing in the Bryansk Region,” said Mr. Lukashenko. “We should take joint economic action, to benefit us and your region.”
The President concluded, “I’d like your visit to focus on discussing prospects for our co-operation: liaisons at a higher level instead of simple commodity trade. We certainly cannot do without such trade but we’d also like to make high level goods, selling them together, not only across the former Soviet Union but, at the least, to Eastern Europe.”
The parties have agreed on the need to strengthen co-operation and gradually move from trade in goods towards setting up joint companies. It was noted that Belarus and the Bryansk Region are currently establishing a major construction complex. Meanwhile, bio-technologies are a promising area for bilateral co-operation.
The Bryansk Region delegation visited Vitebsk to sign an agreement on co-operation between the two regions. The parties agreed to set up working groups to step up co-operation across various sectors, and our Belarusian businessmen are invited to take part in projects.
The Head of State noted that co-operation with the Russian region is important because such Belarusian companies as Gomselmash and Amkodor have production facilities located there. “I’d like these enterprises to be an example of our Belarusian-Russian co-operation,” he said.
Alexander Bogomaz noted that food currently accounts for most Belarusian exports to his region, saying that our foodstuffs enjoy much popularity due to ‘high quality’. “Our people know that Belarus-made products are of good quality and are keen to buy them,” he stated.
By Vasily Kharitonov