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Flax touted as cotton substitute for Belarus, Russia

Economy 18.07.2019 | 18:26
Mikhail Myasnikovich and Valentina Matviyenko
Mikhail Myasnikovich and Valentina Matviyenko

ST. PETERSBURG, 18 July (BelTA) – Setting up a linen industry cluster will help Belarus and Russia to replace cotton in case of possible cotton shortages in foreign markets, Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich told the media, BelTA has learned.

Proposal to establish a cluster in the linen industry was made at the 6th Forum of Regions. Mikhail Myasnikovich said that the project goes beyond the standard documents such as Russian-Belarusian Union State programs. The cluster, if established, will operate as a commercial entity and deal with issues of import substitution.

The cotton producing countries have been ramping up its processing into yarn, fabric and finished product. “The prices for Russia and Belarus can change on foreign markets. We must be prepared to replace it with high-quality product in case of possible shortages of cotton on foreign markets,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

“Flax is a very good promising organic product that can substitute import when we face difficulty with cotton,” he noted.

Belarus has carried out a costly upgrade of Orsha Linen Mill which can now produce high-quality fabrics. Russia has good capacities in flax industry, particularly in relation to primary processing of flax.

Belarus offers Russia to pool together scientific, production and financial capacities to ensure full technological cycle, from the research, seed production, cultivation of flax to production of fabrics, should the parties decide to create the cluster.

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