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11 May 2023, 18:32

Development of agreements at high level. What to expect from Russia's Innoprom

Belarus relies heavily on the industrial sector in its cooperation with Russia. Special attention was paid to this area both during the meeting of the Supreme State Council in early April and during the talks between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin. There are already results of cooperation. There are a number of new joint projects, including cooperation in the production of components for the automotive industry and aviation. About 15 projects in mechanical engineering are to be launched within the framework of the Union State. The issues concerning their financing have been solved. Belarus and Russia will jointly produce a broad range of products: microcircuits, haul trucks, agricultural machines and other equipment.

In July Russia's Yekaterinburg will host the large-scale international industrial fair Innoprom. It is one of the most important events in science, technology, industry and innovation. For the first time Belarus will take part in the exhibition as a partner country. This is a special status, the main advantages of which are the area of not less than 3,000 square meters for a display of products, the priority location in the exhibition hall, the broad support from the organizers, the Russian federal and regional authorities, the increased attention to the exposition from the media.

We can say that this is not only the result of joint efforts of Belarus and Russia, the leaders of the countries in the issue of import substitution in the conditions of the sanctions policy of the West, but also the recognition of the wide opportunities and demand for Belarusian products, manufacturing and scientific potential, preserved and multiplied during the years of independence. The partner countries of the exhibition from 2015 to 2022 were China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Italy, and Kazakhstan.

Many delegations will come to the exhibition, and the business program of the event is extensive. According to the Russian side, guests from 50 countries are expected. Taking part in the fair will be the flagships of the Belarusian industry, large companies, small businesses, private sector and others.

The main thing is practical returns

On 11 May, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko hosted a meeting of the working group on preparations for this event. “We will decide on our general concept of participation in Innoprom," the head of government said. “We must not only showcase our products but also achieve the goals that we set for ourselves by participating in the exhibition. The main thing is practical returns.” The exhibition will also feature an industrial forum and a fair.

Representatives of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Industry Ministry, as organizers of the exposition, made reports to the prime minister and offered some proposals for the event.

The meeting participants paid special attention to solving organizational issues of preparing the national exposition and related events and identified new products of the Belarusian manufacturing sector to be displayed at Innoprom.

The Republic of Belarus has been participating in Innoprom since 2012 and organized national expositions five times.

What Belarus will showcase

Belarus had selected an extensive lineup of vehicles that will be put on display at the expo, Belarusian Deputy Industry Minister Dmitry Kharitonchik told the media. “Those are products made by MAZ, MTZ, Amkodor, Gomselmash, and other main industrial enterprises. If we talk about MAZ, there are plans to showcase a new tractor unit, which is fitted with a more powerful engine compliant with the Euro-6 emissions standard and an automated manual transmission. Apart from that, there are plans to showcase fire trucks that are in demand in Russia. The Belarusian tractor manufacturer MTZ will present several unmanned models. One of them will be demonstrated live outside. As well as new tractors,” the official noted.

Plans are in place to present over 20 units of equipment at the expo. On top of those the machine-tools industry will be represented with about 14 units of equipment. “Those are our modern R&D products that can be potentially in demand in the territory of our countries. Apart from that, there are plans to demonstrate a large number of engines and motors, lifting equipment, and other machines and vehicles,” Dmitry Kharitonchik said.

Dmitry Kharitonchik
Dmitry Kharitonchik

In his words, a Belarusian-Russian business forum will be an important part of Innoprom. Representatives of the Industry Ministry, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, and the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange will make speeches at the forum. The most topical matters for discussion are import substitution, manufacturing cooperation, prospects of joint development of the manufacturing sector, and new trends in economy, Dmitry Kharitonchik added. Innoprom is traditionally the key platform in the Commonwealth of Independent States and gathers a large number of foreign guests. The key goal of enterprises is to look for new ties.

The main topic is innovation and cooperation

Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BelCCI) Mikhail Myatlikov told the media that the main topic of this year's fair would be innovation and cooperation which will be implemented in the future. “There will be a number of forums, seminars, and presentations. As for contracts, they always have a delayed period. This exhibition will give results in the future,” Mikhail Myatlikov said.

Mikhail Myatlikov
Mikhail Myatlikov

Particular attention will be paid to the topic of machine tool building. Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Krutoi said this in an interview in April. Belarus has a good school, personnel, and production base in this area. It is possible that cooperation in this area will be formalized as a separate Union State program. “Machine tool building is really a key industry. A separate group has been set up. The project is almost ready. Experts are working now. It will be heard first of all at the level of our deputy prime ministers. For now, the prime ministers have set the task of listening to the final version during Innoprom. There will be a separate section devoted to the achievements of the Belarusian machine tool industry. All our enterprises will be presented there,” the ambassador said.

According to him, the prime ministers agreed to hold a separate meeting on this topic to make a final decision. This autumn it will be reported to the presidents of Belarus and Russia in the context of specific projects, required funds and sources of funding.

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