VITEBSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Vitebsk Oblast has plans to increase exports to Russia up to $1.5 billion, Vitebsk Oblast Deputy Governor Anzhelika Nikitina said at a briefing to discuss the performance of the real sector of the region's economy, BelTA has learned.
The region's administration is quite happy with the export figures. By the end of the year, the export of goods is expected to grow 1.8 times, the export of services 1.2 times. “This is a record figure for the region, and as far as the commodity export is concerned, this is going to be record-high for the country: we rank first among the regions in the export of goods and second in the export of services,” Anzhelika Nikitina said. “The difficulties with the supply of goods to the European Union, to Ukraine mobilized our companies and we managed to diversify, to build up our exports. And the pace of this work shows that products made in Vitebsk Oblast are in demand. In particular, the Russian Federation usually consumes more than 60% of our exports. Our export to this marked was the highest since 2012 and our plan is to hit $1.5 billion. The region's products are present in almost all regions of the Russian Federation. It is important that we diversified our deliveries and penetrated the markets of Sakhalin, the Republic of Ingushetia, Tyva and other regions,” she said.
The deputy governor added that now local companies are getting ready for industry events in Russia. Among these events are the International Industrial Trade Fair Innoprom in Yekaterinburg and the 10th edition of the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia in Ufa, where Vitebsk Oblast companies will be widely represented.
“Our products are in demand on the Russian market. As far as foodstuffs are concerned, the export of cattle meat, sausages and canned food grew 1.5-2 times. Some manufacturers of non-food products almost doubled their exports. These companies include Vitebsk Plant of Electric Measuring Instruments, Izmeritel, Polymerkonstruktsiya, and Vetraz. They grew their exports 10.5 times. Our products sell well, and this encourages us to keep improving product quality and to launch new products,” said Anzhelika Nikitina.
The Chinese market is also very important for Belarus' northernmost region. “While increasing our presence on the Chinese market, we learn more about our consumers and their expectations of our products. The region's exports to China increased 1.9 times, we have sold products worth $50 million. These are mainly foodstuffs (cheeses, confectionery, canned meat, rapeseed oil) that are of interest to the Chinese consumer. Now we must bring in products with a higher added value. There is something to strive for, given that China has re-opened, including for our enterprises. We have a number of agreements (eight were signed by the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee and seven at a lower level). We must push harder to expand our operations in China,” the deputy governor concluded.