MINSK, 16 June (BelTA) – The Republic of Belarus and Leningrad Oblast signed a roadmap at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. An agreement to draft this document was reached in Minsk earlier at the meeting of bilateral commissions, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Snopkov said.
“This roadmap was drafted after the meeting of the presidents of Belarus and Russia and after our discussions about cooperation prospects with the Leningrad Oblast governor. I think if we implement everything stipulated in the roadmap, we will fulfill the task of the president of Belarus to achieve $1 billion in trade between Leningrad Oblast and our country next year. This is the bare minimum,” Nikolai Snopkov noted.
He also said that cooperation between Belarus and Russia relies on joint business and integration projects. Strategically, bilateral cooperation implies not only trade, but also the establishment of joint ventures, including import-substituting ones. “Bearings are in great demand in Leningrad Oblast. We will upgrade our bearing plant so that it will be able to supply products for Tikhvin Carriage Works. We hope to be able to replace American components needed for the production of bearings,” the first deputy prime minister said.
Nikolai Snopkov mentioned the program to promote agricultural and forestry engineering in Leningrad Oblast, as well as the construction program. “Leningrad Oblast, just like the Republic of Belarus, is running a program to demolish dilapidated housing and replace it with new buildings. We hope that Belarusian construction companies will actively join this program,” Nikolai Snopkov emphasized.
He believes that joint ventures and import-substituting projects will make it possible for the two countries to become more self-sufficient economically.