MOSCOW, 2 September (BelTA) - Belarusian enterprises are ready to take an active part in expanding cooperation with Tatarstan, implementing import substitution programs, advancing further close cooperation in mechanical engineering, petrochemistry, agriculture, construction and road transport, Belarus' Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko said as he met with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov in Kazan on 2 September, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian diplomatic mission.
Vladimir Semashko thanked Rustam Minnikhanov for his special attention to Tatarstan's cooperation with Belarus. According to the embassy, this Russian region is home to the assembly plants of MTZ tractors and Mogilevliftmash elevators, and also to four Belarus-funded enterprises: MTZ-Tatarstan, Amkodor-Bel, Molodechnomebel Trading House and a representation of the Pinskdrev Holding Company. There is a well-developed dealership network of Gomselmash, MTZ, Mogilevliftmash, MAZ, Amkodor and the Borisov Automotive Electrical Equipment Plant. In 2018, the trade reached almost $1.3 billion (up 7.6%). In these terms, Tatarstan ranks 6th among all 85 Russian regions.
The ambassador stated, however, that in January-June 2019 the trade contracted, and added that Belarus and Tatarstan have all the capacity to accede $2 billion in annual trade. He called cooperation in the industrial sector as a key direction. Petrochemical companies account for more than 70% of mutual trade. The two regions have been successfully developing cooperation in mechanical engineering. Tatarstan's agricultural sector is almost 70% equipped with MTZ tractors. More than 60% of forage harvesters and 40% of grain harvesters are from Gomselmash. Kazan's passenger vehicle fleet consists of more than 50% of MAZ buses and Belkommunmash trams.
Vladimir Semashko suggested initiating the consideration of the issue in the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia to include gas and gas-diesel tractors MTZ, gas-engine harvesters Polesie in the list of gas equipment subsidized from the Russian federal budget. He also initiated the consideration of the possibility to set up a joint facility to produce small-size municipal vehicles on the basis of MAZ chassis for the needs of the housing and utilities sector of Tatarstan. The ambassador stated that Belarus can increase the supply of agricultural machinery necessary for local farmers, in particular, tractors and combine harvesters, and expressed the interest and readiness of the Belarusian manufacturers to increase the supply of elevator equipment, a wide range of construction and finishing materials, including those not manufactured in Tatarstan.
“Belarus is one of our leading foreign partners. Over the past few years it has been a stable foreign trade leader in cooperation with Tatarstan. We have an intergovernmental agreement, as well as a corresponding action plan for its implementation, a number of protocols and agreements between ministries, chambers of commerce and industry and academies of science. Kazan and Minsk are twin cities. Last year Minsk hosted the Days of Tatarstan. The Days of Belarus in Tatarstan are scheduled for September 2020,” said Rustam Minnikhanov.
The head of Tatarstan spoke in favor of expanding cooperation in mechanical engineering, high technology and other areas. “We have a great untapped potential for interaction. Our joint task is to use it for the benefit of the Russian-Belarusian relations,” he said.
Vladimir Semashko and Rustam Minnikhanov took part in the Tatarstan Oil & Gas and Chemical Forum and got familiar with the joint stand of Belneftekhim enterprises. The ambassador also visited the passenger transport enterprise No.2, where he met with representatives of Kazan haulers, and held a working meeting to discuss the operation of MTZ-Tatarstan Company.
Photos courtesy of the Belarusian embassy in Russia