GOMEL, 20 January (BelTA) - The prospects for cooperation in mechanical engineering, processing and food industries and other areas were discussed at a meeting of Gomel Oblast Vice Governor Andrei Konyushko and a business delegation of Bashkortostan, BelTA has learned.
As Andrei Konyushko noted, Gomel Oblast is a well-developed region, more than 60% of the regional output is exported. "There are more than 200 large and medium-sized enterprises in the region," he said.
"Russia is the main partner for the region in all areas: economic, humanitarian. Currently, regional enterprises, together with Russian companies, are actively working on additional mutual supplies of products, raw materials, components. Import-substituting chains are being built," Andrei Konyushko emphasized.
According to him, last year the region intensified relations with Russian partner regions, including Bashkortostan. He expressed confidence that the establishment of business contacts will allow partners to shore up the economy and strengthen interregional ties.
"Gomel Oblast is a hub for mechanical engineering in Belarus. The interest is obvious: last year Bashkortostan organized several business missions to Gomel Oblast," said Konstantin Klimin, a representative of Bashkortostan at the Trade Mission of Russia in Belarus.
Partners from the Russian region are interested in the processing and food industries. "Now plans are in the works to set up Belarusian food stores in Ufa, in Bashkortostan," he said.
The parties intend to cooperate in import substitution. "Today, our delegation also includes representatives of small businesses that produce, for example, lighting equipment. Export opportunities were discussed at MAZ, Amkodor. Today we will have a meeting at Gomselmash. Business [of Bashkortostan] is ready to offer various opportunities for Belarusian enterprises," Konstantin Klimin said.
The meeting also discussed preparations for the tenth edition of the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia, which will be held in Ufa in June. The parties believe it is necessary to step up ties before the forum, which will then be formalized into important agreements and contracts.
Emphasis was also placed on the development of cooperation in social matters. As an example, the parties cited the participation of a sambo team from Gomel Oblast in the Zvezda tournament in Ufa in November last year where Ruslan Shoba of Gomel Oblast won a big victory in one of the categories.
"This is just the beginning. Sports events are also planned during the Forum of Regions. I think that representatives of Gomel will show their best," Konstantin Klimin said.
He also congratulated Gomel Oblast on the 85th anniversary of its founding, wished successful development in all avenues.
In January-November of last year, Gomel Oblast exports to Bashkortostan totaled $20 million, up by 85% year-on-year. Gomel Oblast exports to Bashkortostan include pipes, tubes and profiles made of ferrous metals, hot-rolled bars made of alloy steel, machines and mechanisms for harvesting, plates, sheets, plastic films and other products. Imports include carbonates, initiators, accelerators and catalysts of chemical reactions, hydroxides and peroxides of sodium and potassium, instruments and equipment for measuring and controlling liquid properties.