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12 December 2019, 13:22

Goal of increasing Belarus-Tatarstan trade to $2bn described as feasible

Rustam Minnikhanov
Rustam Minnikhanov

MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) – We can bolster trade to $2 billion, head of Russia's Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov told the media after a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Mink on 12 December, BelTA has learned.

“The Belarusian president set the goal to raise the trade to $2 billion. I am sure that it is feasible," said Rustam Minnikhanov.

He stressed that Belarus and Tatarstan have developed a very good partnership. “We see the changes that are taking place in this country. We are learning a lot," said Rustam Minnikhanov.

The head of Tatarstan spoke very warmly about the meeting with the Belarusian head of the state, describing the atmosphere as comfortable and warm.

When asked by BelTA on how the parties could balance the bilateral trade, with Belarus running a deficit for objective reasons, such as purchase of oil, Rustam Minnikhanov noted that as yet the parties have not tapped into such areas as nano- and IT- technologies. Petrochemical projects are also on the table.

Rustam Minnikhanov stressed the importance of continuing cooperation in the traditional areas as well: "Today 60% of our agricultural fleet is from Belarus. It is of very good quality. We will continue building up cooperation in this area. Secondly we assemble Belarus tractors in Yelabuga [a city in Tatarstan]. Thirdly this is gas motor fuel. Belarusian manufacturers are very advanced here, and we are actively working on these issues,” he noted.

Rustam Minnikhanov also told Aleksandr Lukashenko about his meeting with the Tatar community of Belarus in the Minsk Cathedral Mosque. “There are no religious or ethnic disagreements in the country,” he said.

“Today we had a very interesting trip to BelAZ, the Belarusian producer of haulers. I did not even know that it has made the world's largest truck with the carrying capacity of 450 tonnes. We had a test drive,” Rustam Minnikhanov said.

In 2018, the trade between Belarus and Tatarstan totaled $1,282.4 billion (up 7.7% from 2017). The export made up $282.7 million, the import reached $999.7 million.

Two plants in Tatarstan produce MTZ tractors and Mogilevliftmash lifts. There are a total of four companies in the region set up with the Belarusian capital. There is also a well-developed dealer network of Belarusian companies, warehouses and a sales network of several producers.

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