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Belarus and Russia seek new points of incidence in regional interaction

Two centres meet to discuss plans

The President of Belarus recently met a Russian regional delegation, led by Yuri Berg, the Governor of the Orenburg Region. While Belarus is known as the geographical centre of Europe, Mr. Berg noted with pride that his region is at the heart of Eurasia, hosting a transport corridor from Europe to Western China. As a transit territory, it has similar development goals to those of Belarus.

Yuri BergHowever, interaction in logistics is one of many possible spheres of co-operation. We enjoyed mutual goods turnover of more than $1bn in 2013. The figure has since fallen twice, for well-known objective economic reasons, inspiring Minsk to take action. The President is convinced that new points of coincidence need to be found across Belarusian-Russian co-operation as a whole: with a ready response provided by Orenburg.

Clearly, trade figures give proof to Belarusian goods being well-known in the region. Co-productions operate to assemble Gomselmash harvesters and MTZ (Minsk Tractor Works) tractors, and Orenburg imports various machinery and equipment from Belarus. Mr. Berg underlines that his region’s Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company owns the world’s biggest fleet of BelAZ vehicles.

With no need for special introduction, it seems obvious to look at new industrial and sci-tech avenues, including personnel training. A great many delegations have visited our country from the Orenburg Region, so familiarity with our potential runs high. The President has suggested that the spheres of agriculture, construction, science and technologies offer mutual potential benefit, with Belarus ready to supply not only machinery, equipment and high-technologies, but design and engineering services and building materials. Mr. Lukashenko assured his guests that Minsk will respond to any offers or requests promptly.

Plans were discussed in detail, including at a working group session on co-operation between Belarus and the Orenburg Region. A plan of measures has now been signed to develop interaction through until 2017.

By Vladimir Khromov
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