Two forums even better than one

Belarus’ co-operation with Lithuania and Finland to intensify, as noted by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Lithuania and Finland, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Drazhin, at 8th International Belarus-Lithuania Forum and at 3rd International Belarus-Finland Forum in Grodno

By Yelena Stasyukova

As the diplomat stressed, at present, Lithuania and Finland are among the leading European partners for Belarus in trade, services and investments. In 2011, Belarus-Lithuania trade reached a record high of $1.16bn. Moreover, in recent years, Belarus has been actively expanding co-operation with Finland: our bilateral trade last year stood at $207m.

New investors are expected. In 2011, Lithuanian injections into the Belarusian economy more than doubled (against 2010), to reach almost $115m. In addition, over $40m of Finnish investments arrived. In Belarus, 500+ companies with Lithuanian capital operate, with Lithuania being home to over 300 companies with Belarusian capital.

There are grounds to expect more intensive co-operation with Lithuania and Finland next year, as all the necessary preconditions exist. According to Mr. Drazhin, it’s likely that we’ll see raised volumes of Belarusian cargo shipped via Klaipeda port. Belarus and Lithuania have great co-operation prospects in transportation and logistics, while boosting ties in machine building, power engineering and agriculture. Moreover, we are interested in the realisation of joint ecology-related projects and those dealing with information technologies.

Addressing participants, the diplomat underlined that the Belarus-Lithuania Economic Forum should become a landmark event in the history of our bilateral co-operation. It has been held in rotation by Belarus and Lithuania since 2005. However, this is the first time that it has been held simultaneously with the Belarus-Finland Forum.

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