MINSK, 25 November (BelTA) - Minsk is ready to cooperate with all African countries open for mutually beneficial dialogue, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said in an online meeting with Chairman of the Pan-African Parliament Fortune Charumbira on 25 November, BelTA has learned.
“With great pleasure we invite you and the delegation of the Pan-African Parliament to visit Belarus at any time convenient for you. You will learn about our economic potential by visiting industrial and agricultural enterprises, educational institutions and healthcare organizations,” Vladimir Andreichenko said.
According to him, the country's priorities include the development of political dialogue and the expansion of trade, economic and humanitarian ties. “Our country has established diplomatic relations with 51 African states. Belarus and its African partners have gone from an annual trade of $158 million in the early 2000s to over $550 million in 2020. Minsk is ready to work with all African countries, which are open for an equal and mutually beneficial dialogue and search for promising cooperation projects,” the speaker said. “In the course of your visit to Belarus we will hold substantial talks on further cooperation, including our interest in getting the observer status in the Pan-African Parliament. Here I would like to inquire about the procedure for obtaining the observer status.”
“In order to develop a legal framework of our relations, Belarus is ready to sign an agreement or a memorandum on cooperation. We are also ready to work out the issue of forming a delegation in the National Assembly of Belarus for cooperation with the Pan-African Parliament. It may include heads of friendship groups on cooperation with parliaments of African countries. The National Assembly of Belarus has already set up groups for cooperation with parliaments of 15 African states, including the Parliament of Zimbabwe,” Vladimir Andreichenko said. “We accept your invitation to visit one of the sessions of the Pan-African Parliament, to address it and convey our interest in the development of cooperation to our African counterparts. Moreover, we will be able to add a business agenda to the visit, so that our African counterparts could have more opportunities to learn about our country.”
Interaction would help find niches for the participation of Belarusian companies in African development programs envisaged by the African Union's agenda 2063, the speaker added. “I am confident that continued contacts with the Pan-African Parliament in various formats will help expand the Belarusian presence on the African continent,” Vladimir Andreichenko stressed.