GOMEL, 23 March (BelTA) – In the current geopolitical and economic context, it is important for free economic zones to quickly develop cooperative ties, Advisor to the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank Sergei Sidorsky told the media on the sidelines of the Congress of Free Economic Zones in Gomel, BelTA has learned.
As Sergei Sidorsky emphasized, free economic zones, technopolises, technology parks have always been leading contributors to the world's GDP. They create more than 30%.
"In order to move forward, we need to understand the origins and roots and also to construct a vision of economic development in the existing real conditions," Sergei Sidorsky is convinced. He recalled that during the Soviet era, Gomel was a powerful industrial and technological hub. However, things changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"Here, at this place [FEZ Gomel-Raton grounds], a decision was taken in favor of technological development. The government put forward an initiative to set up a technopolis of science-intensive high-tech manufacturing facilities. We understood then that high technology was the key to the future development of the Belarusian economy," Sergei Sidorsky addressed the story.
"The president approved of our approach," he added.
According to Sergei Sidorsky, it was very important to understand then that the right path had been chosen. "Today, 25 years on, we see that enterprises [residents of FEZs] perform at the highest level. The FEZ Gomel-Raton has created more than 30,000 jobs,” he stressed.
"It is your time today," Sergei Sidorsky said addressing representatives of the Belarusian FEZs. “Today, FEZs are points of attraction for high-tech industries. Back then, we attracted Western technology. Today, taking into account the geopolitical situation, we have to move in a different direction, in closest cooperation and with the support of the manufacturing sector. The FEZs need to understand that we need more manufactures of engines, vehicles, electrical appliances. We need to build up cooperation chains in the Russian Federation, in Belarus. The future of the next 20-50 years belongs to such manufactures.”
For this there is the necessary high-tech base, high-level training programs, he added.
"We must not forget that we are part of the Eurasian union. It includes Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. These are the states that will need these high-tech products," Sergei Sidorsky added.
"Cooperative ties need to be quickly developed and to replace imports," he concluded.
The third Congress of Free Economic Zones is running in Gomel on 23-24 March. The two-day congress explores the role of free economic zones, industrial, science and technology parks as drivers of the development of territories. More than 250 people are participating in the forum. Among them are representatives of free economic zones, industrial, science and technology parks from Belarus, Russia, Uzbekistan, and also officials of the Economy Ministry, the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee and the Gomel City Executive Committee, and FEZ Gomel-Raton resident companies.