GRODNO, 1 July (BelTA) – Belarus invites Russia to implement a joint project for manufacturing polyether products. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Yuri Nazarov mentioned it during the plenary session held as part of the 9th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia to discuss the role of interregional cooperation in deepening integration processes of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, BelTA has learned.
Yuri Nazarov said: “I'd like to underline the role of the Union State and address State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Dmitry Mezentsev with a request for assistance with realizing yet another very topical project. Belarus suggests starting the manufacturing of polyether products to satisfy needs of the Union State. It will become a classic example of manufacturing cooperation. Belarus has competences and many years of experience while Russia has raw materials. The project's realization will allow ensuring the processing of raw materials in Belarus and [the processing] of Belarusian polyether products in the Russian Federation.”
The official added that in 2021 Russia imported at least $200 million worth of polyether fiber from third countries. “If the project is implemented, the Union State market will be fully supplied with its own polyether products. To create products that are in demand in the Union State is a high-priority goal of such projects. If we look deeper, the goal is to secure stable operation of Russian and Belarusian enterprises thanks to uninterrupted deliveries of products,” Yuri Nazarov said.
The deputy prime minister of Belarus said that Belarus and Russia have gone a complicated way in the entire history of establishment of interregional ties. “An ordinance of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia was signed last year. Its practical realization will contribute to the formation of industry-specific markets, the realization of the common financial, trade, and agrarian policies. The key thing we expect is the continued operation of the economies of our countries and social protection of our population,” Yuri Nazarov said.
According to Yuri Nazarov, business cooperation councils work well. As many as 37 enterprises to assemble Belarusian machines, vehicles, and equipment have been set up in Russian regions. In January-April 2022 Belarus-Russia trade totaled $12.6 billion or 112.6% as against last year's level. “At the same time we have to work in the new reality of total sanctions-fueled pressure from unfriendly countries. As a result our economic model faces a serious challenge. Taking into account external conditions our heads of state have decided to deepen mutual integration for the sake of import substitution and for the sake of increasing trade turnover. An analysis of import substitution efforts indicates that about 30% of Belarusian products worth $4.5 billion can be redirected to Russia. Those are primarily machines, equipment, products made by chemical industry, light industry, manufacturing sector, woodworking industry, and metal structures,” he said.
Yuri Nazarov added that as far as a number of similar products are concerned, Russia used to import 40-60% of what it needs. “In other words, vacant niches are available. I'd like to note that in mechanical engineering there is a good example of successful manufacturing cooperation. OAO BATE and KamAZ represent a vivid example. The Belarusian company supplied RUB164 million worth of automobile components to KamAZ in 2021 alone. The volumes will be doubled this year. If we talk about the automobile component holding company as a whole, the volume of shipments will be up to RUB2 billion this year. Gomselmash and Rostselmash have established similar cooperation. At least RUB260 million worth of Belarusian assembly kits is supposed to be shipped in 2022 in order to make Russian machines, equipment, and vehicles,” Yuri Nazarov said.
“Taking into account the measures being taken today it is of extreme importance for Belarusian goods to be treated as domestic goods on the Russian market. I am confident that some of the issues will be resolved when the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on recognizing technological operations, which exist in the Union State of Belarus and Russia, is signed in Yekaterinburg. Time and the situation prompt us to take care of strategic tasks. Instead of simply increasing the shipments we have to work out long-term principles of joint development of the economies, the manufacturing sector, and agribusiness so that Belarus could see its economic prospects next to Russia and only together with Russia. Our heads of state have backed the realization of integration projects worth over $1.5 billion,” Yuri Nazarov said. The suggested projects include complex modernization of existing facilities and creation of new ones at Gomselmash for the sake of increasing the output of parts and components of agricultural machines in association with Rostselmash.