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02 June 2022, 13:59

Belarus ready to increase export of equipment, food to Leningrad Oblast

MINSK, 2 June (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to increase the export of equipment and foodstuffs to Leningrad Oblast, Belarus' Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's Leningrad Oblast Alexander Drozdenko, BelTA has learned.

“Leningrad Oblast is a long-standing and reliable partner of Belarus in all major areas of cooperation, including economic, humanitarian, and cultural cooperation. I am glad about our good relations and robust trade. Government agencies and economic operators of the two countries responded to the call to intensify bilateral contacts. In order to maintain and build momentum, it is necessary to explore new niches and look for new opportunities, especially in the current conditions. The joint commission is working very effectively. Its next meeting will be held today. The 2021-2023 action plan is being successfully implemented,” Roman Golovchenko said.

According to him, it is important to identify areas where the two countries can make the most of bilateral cooperation. According to the prime minister, the biggest focus should be made on the agricultural industry. “Belarus is ready to launch mutually beneficial projects. It is interested in cooperation in pedigree cattle breeding. Belarusian businesses would like to take part in agriculture development projects in Leningrad Oblast. These projects include the construction of storage facilities for grain, fruit and vegetables, the construction of other infrastructure facilities and providing them with the necessary equipment,” he noted.

“As for Belarusian foodstuffs, these products are well known to Russian consumers. They are available both in retail chains and in convenience stores. We are ready to increase the supplies of food products if necessary. There are no problems here, all requests will be fulfilled,” the prime minister stressed.

Another important area of cooperation is the supply of road, passenger, municipal and agricultural equipment. “We are ready to scale up deliveries, we are capable of doing it. For example, as early as Q4 we can start shipping MAZ passenger buses to the Russian region, if you want us to,” Roman Golovchenko said.

In addition, Belarusian construction companies would like to take part in housing construction programs in Leningrad Oblast.

The trade between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast has increased 1.8 times over the past 10 years. The export of Belarusian goods increased 1.9 times during this period.

In 2021, the trade rose to a record $710.4 million (up 35.4% compared to 2020). Exports from Belarus also reached their maximum for the period under review - $336.6 million (an increase of 37.3%). The exports were dominated by specific goods, hot-rolled non-alloy steel bars, aluminum bars and profiles, combed synthetic fibers, ferrous metal structures, cement, furniture and its parts, fibreboard, men's clothing, meat and poultry offal.

In January-March 2022, the trade amounted to $159.3 million, up by 29.5% year-on-year. The export grew by 34.1% up to $71.9 million. Leningrad Oblast is the third biggest importer of Belarusian products among Russian regions.

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