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05 June 2024, 11:25

Ambassador: Lukashenko instructs to increase trade between Belarus, Russia’s Irkutsk Oblast 

IRKUTSK, 5 June (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has set a task to increase trade with Russia's Irkutsk Oblast 2 to 3 times, Ambassador of Belarus to Russia Dmitry Krutoi told the media, BelTA correspondent reports.

“Our cooperation with Irkutsk Oblast has been gaining momentum over the past two years. In terms of our exports to the region, we have returned to the pre-covid level. Nevertheless, the president said that it's very little and that we need to double or triple it,” the ambassador said. 

Initially, the basic project in terms of trade with Irkutsk and beyond, with China, was the idea to set up a wholesale and distribution logistics hub for Belarusian goods in the region. However, the plans have been adjusted. “The working group, which is engaged in this project, has concluded that the economic efficiency does not add up yet. The project involves several logistical transshipments of our goods and very serious costs,” Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi noted. 

Nevertheless, it was decided not to abandon the project, but to implement it in a pilot mode. The governor of Brest Oblast has been appointed a point man for the development of cooperation with Irkutsk Oblast, and the president instructed to study the possibility of creating a Brest hub without extending this approach to the entire Belarus. “Brest manufacturers, including Brest meat processing plant, Santa Bremor and others have been successfully supplying their products to the Russian region. There is a small distance to China. I think, this will create no logistics  problems for Brest manufactures,” the ambassador noted. “This is why we are going to try a pilot mode with Brest. In any case we will not give up on this project and we will continue it”.

In 2023 the trade between the enterprises affiliated with the Industry Ministry and the organizations of Irkutsk Oblast totaled $16.3 million. In terms of food products and agricultural raw materials, the trade amounted to $3.2 million last year.
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