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16 June 2022, 11:45

Ambassador: Belarus is one of India's most important partners in the region

Ambassador Alok Ranjan Jha
Ambassador Alok Ranjan Jha

MINSK, 16 June (BelTA) - India views Belarus as one of the most important partners in the region, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Belarus Alok Ranjan Jha said at a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 16 June, BelTA has learned.

The head of the diplomatic mission thanked the Belarusian head of state for the opportunity to meet and the kind words towards India: "It is a great honor to meet with you again."

"You say that India is an important partner of Belarus," the ambassador said in response to Aleksandr Lukashenko's statement. “Let me assure you that Belarus is one of the most important partners in this region for India as well. As I have already said more than once in my interactions with the Belarusian government, relations between Belarus and India do not depend on relations between India and other partners, states. Like Belarus, India is also going through an important phase of development and it will be an honor for it to move in this direction together with Belarus and go this path of economic development."

India is one of the largest and most promising trading partners of Belarus in South Asia. The trade between the two countries approached $567 million in 2021, remaining almost at the level of 2020. Belarus had a surplus in trade with India of about $376 million in exports and $191 million in imports. Belarus' major exports to India are potash fertilizers, farm machines, spare parts for rock haulers. Belarus buys medicines, specific goods and seafood from India.

In 2021 Belarus' export of services to India surged by 60% year-on-year to exceed 498 million. Transport services accounted for 84% of the total export of services.

Investment cooperation between the two countries has been advancing consistently. Three pharmaceutical investment projects are being implemented in Belarus with the participation of India. The two countries cooperate in oil production and oil refining. In 2020 and 2021, Belorusneft won a tender held by the largest Indian oil and gas company and implemented a pilot project of chemical enhanced oil recovery at six onshore fields in India.

Cooperation with India in education has been vibrant as well. The number of students from this country in Belarusian universities, in particular medical majors, is growing every year. In 2014-2015 there were 77 students in Belarus. In 2020-2021 their number increased to 888. More than 30 documents on cooperation between the universities of Belarus and India have been concluded. Negotiations are underway to open a vocational training center in India.

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