GOMEL, 8 June (BelTA) - Belarus in general and Gomel Oblast in particular, the Russian Federation is the strategic partner, Gomel Oblast Governor Ivan Krupko said as he met with Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Agriculture of Bashkortostan Ilshat Fazrakhmanov in Gomel on 8 June, BelTA has learned.
The guests were briefed on industrial and investment potential, the capacities of agriculture, food and construction industries of Gomel Oblast.
The governor is convinced that the parties have every opportunity to advance cooperation and set up joint ventures. "It is important that we find more points of contact. We have a lot of work ahead of us," he said.
Ilshat Fazrakhmanov noted that sanctions open up new opportunities. "Bashkortostan is a very large anchor region of the Russian Federation. We have well-developed petrochemistry, mechanical engineering and, of course, agriculture," he described the region.
Russian-Belarusian integration in mechanical engineering is ever more important given the new realities, he noted. Bashkortostan produces a lot of hydraulics, glass, and other products for this industry.
"Secondly, we need to build partnerships in the food and processing industries," he suggested. According to the deputy prime minister, this will enable companies not only to gain a foothold in the Russian market, but also to tap into the markets of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and China. "If our farmers, processing and food industries pool their efforts together, they will be much more effective," he said.
Ilshat Fazrakhmanov does not consider the distance between the two regions to be a problem, given that today's world is very open. "It is impossible to cancel anyone with sanctions or other unfriendly measures. But if competent specialists from both Bashkortostan and Belarus work in lockstep, benefits will be way more," he added.
Another area in which it is important to develop partnership is business. "Bashkortostan is located in the center of the Russian Federation. The border of Europe and Asia goes through our territory. Many ethnicities co-exit friendly, peaceful in our republic. We are the center of the Urals and the center of the Volga region. The advantageous location gives joint ventures the opportunity, to conquer markets together. The scope for cooperation is quite wide, but it is very important to create comfortable conditions for business. The more comfortable they are, the faster business will find its way," said Ilshat Fazrakhmanov.
During the visit to Gomel Oblast, the delegation of Bashkortostan will tour a number of enterprises: Gomelagrokomplekt, Gomselmash, GZLiN.
According to the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee, in 2021 the trade between Gomel Oblast and Bashkortostan amounted to $63.4 million (up by 18.1%). Exports exceeded $11 million. Major export items were alloy steel rods, parts and accessories for trucks and tractors, machines and mechanisms for harvesting and threshing crops and so on. Major imports were carbonates, initiators, accelerators and catalysts of chemical reactions, aluminum metal structures from Bashkortostan.
In January-March of this year, trade between Gomel Oblast and Bashkortostan approached $12 million.