MOSCOW, 27 February (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia's Volgograd Oblast are set to double bilateral trade to $0.5 billion, Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Krutoi told the media following the negotiations with Governor of the Russian region Andrei Bocharov in Volgograd on 27 February, BelTA has learned.
"Over the past two years, our trade posted a very good growth. The governor and I discussed the areas where we already achieved good results and the commodities we trade the most. Of course, this is the manufacturing sector. Volgograd Oblast buys a lot of Belarusian vehicles: passenger, utilities, road, and farm machines. Belarus began to actively participate in the electric transport program not only in the city of Volgograd, but also in other major cities of the region. Today we discussed a concession in terms of trams and trolleybuses: our first batch of Belkommunmash trolleybuses arrived and the vehicles already proved their worth. The governor raised maintenance issues and asked to set up a full-fledged center for Belarusian vehicles,” Belarusian Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi noted.
The parties discussed the prospects for supplies of Belarusian trams, a number of cooperation projects. Special attention was paid to transport and logistics, including the North-South transport corridor. "The parties discussed a project to set up a hub for Belarusian goods that could be further transported to third countries and joint ventures with the eyes on markets of third countries," the ambassador said.
"The last topic was agriculture. Volgograd Oblast has a huge potential, taking into account the investments in crop production and animal husbandry. If we look at our import basket, this is cake, meal, sunflower seed processing waste. This is the main import item to Belarus, given that more than a million tonnes of sunflower seeds are processed here. It is difficult to say on the fly what cooperation projects and opportunities there are. But I think we will look into this," Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi noted.
"An interesting topic is gas-fired vehicles. Volgograd Oblast is set to implement a number of projects on liquefied gas and freeze-dried gas with the participation of Gazprom. The governor invited our manufacturers - MTZ, MAZ, Amkodor to pitch in," the ambassador said. He added that the parties agreed to convene the joint council on industry and energy within the framework of the upcoming visit of the Belarusian prime minister to Volgograd Oblast. Major companies from Belarus and Volgograd will be invited to attend. "They will work to outline some joint cooperation projects," the ambassador explained.
As part of the working trip to Volgograd Oblast, Ambassador Dmitry Krutoi toured a number of enterprises and also laid flowers to the Eternal Flame in the Hall of Military Glory of the Mamayev Kurgan Memorial complex.