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Uzbekistan wants closer ties with Belarusian regions

Economy 19.06.2018 | 17:53

BREST, 19 June (BelTA) – Local authorities of Uzbekistan would like to cooperate with Belarusian regions, Uzbekistan's Ambassador to Belarus Nasirjan Yusupov said as he met with top officials of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

“Jizzakh Region authorities are keen on cooperation with Belarusian regions. We would like to discuss in detail a visit of the Jizzakh delegation to Belarus to outline areas of joint work. After all, during the recent meeting of the Belarusian president with Uzbekistan's parliamentary delegation, the Belarusian head of state noted that we should focus on promoting interregional contacts. The Belarusian parliament is even considering a regional forum. It would be quite helpful. Uzbekistan's local authorities are also interested in it,” the diplomat noted.

This is the first trip of the Uzbekistan ambassador to a Belarusian region. Uzbekistan's diplomatic mission opened in Belarus not so long ago. “We should make up the leeway in our relations. This is one of the main tasks facing the embassy. First of all, we need to create some groundwork for bilateral relations, which is economic cooperation. In this regard, Brest Oblast looks very promising. This is a dynamically developing region that has achieved a lot in many areas,” the diplomat noted.

Brest Oblast Governor Anatoly Lis pointed to an increase in trade between Brest Oblast and Uzbekistan. In 2017 the mutual trade stood at $11.7 million, up 46% over 2016. “We have ramped up mutual trade; however, we are not there yet. We are interested in goods produced by Uzbekistan and we also want to supply our products to your market,” the governor said.

The parties agreed that Brest Oblast and Uzbekistan have great cooperation prospects in the light industry. This is something to work on for Baranovichi Cotton Production Amalgamation, a major importer of Uzbekistan's cotton. Other promising cooperation avenues include supplies of Belarusian meat and dairy products to Uzbekistan. The ambassador said that such products are in great demand in the country. He noted that Uzbekistan's consumers love the products of Savushkin Product company. At the same time, this dairy giant ships merely 120 tonnes of products to Uzbekistan annually.

“Unfortunately, Belarusian companies buy Uzbekistan's products from middlemen, which pushes the prices up. This pertains to cotton, fruit and vegetables and dried fruit. Uzbekistan also obtains Belarus-made goods through third countries. We need to launch direct supplies of goods,” Uzbekistan's diplomat believes.

Anatoly Lis is convinced that the visit of the Uzbekistan diplomat to Brest Oblast will open up new opportunities for expanding trade and economic cooperation as well as humanitarian and cultural contacts.

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