MINSK, 21 October (BelTA) – We need to bolster industrial cooperation in the mechanical engineering industry, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's Sverdlovsk Oblast Yevgeny Kuivashev in Minsk on 21 October, BelTA has learned.
The head of state warmly welcomed the Russian governor on the Belarusian soil. “I always say, this is your land too. Belarus is inseparable from the Slavic peoples. It just so happened recently that Belarus has become the most Slavic country, making a notable contribution to the rapprochement of our peoples. We see the development of cooperation with you, with all Russian regions, as one of the key areas. I often say that at a time when Russia and Belarus were not on the best of terms (there were such times), it was the cooperation between the Russian regions with Belarus that saved the union of Belarus and Russia," the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he had been to Yekaterinburg before. “I loved this sturdy working city. It's sturdy. I had this impression of the city," he said. "There was a lot of snow. I liked Yekaterinburg, I compared it to Belarus. We have such weather. Really strong people live there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
Despite the geographical distance, Sverdlovsk Oblast has been traditionally a reliable partner for Belarus. We have been working in the Ural region for a long time and successfully," the head of state said. Residents of the region are well familiar with Belarusian food, footwear, textiles, appliances and furniture.
“Our joint energy projects account for a significant share of mutual trade. Some 60% of the turbines we use in Belarus are produced in the Urals," the president said. “There is a great potential for bolstering industrial ties in the mechanical engineering industry. For example, the Belarusian company Belkommunmash can offer the full lineup of tram modernization services, and the prices will be lower than those of Russian companies.
Belarus is interested in setting up the assembly diesel engines for BelAZ rock haulers with the Sinara - Transport Machines company.
“We can help the city of Yekaterinburg and the region to upgrade the rolling stock and can offer a wide range of passenger equipment, including such innovative and environmentally friendly transport as electric buses,” said the Belarusian leader. "We can also share our best practices in creating a system of dispatching the regular urban transport service.”
Belarus is ready to supply the region with agricultural, automotive, road-building and utilities vehicles. “You know that Belarus is a machine-building country. We have not just good R&D in any segment but also ready products. We have opportunities to develop new areas of cooperation, including in science and agriculture. In order to successfully implement joint projects in these promising areas, we need to use the entire scientific, technological and human potential,” Aleksandr Lukashenko continued.
He offered Belarus' engineering services in the construction of social facilities, highways, bridges, waste treatment plants. “I know you are running extensive construction programs," said the head of state. “You are one of the leading regions in terms of construction. If you need our support and assistance, we stand ready to help, with turnkey projects too, if necessary. This is especially important as you are preparing to host the World Summer Universiade 2023. We have certain experience in this regard, because this year we have hosted the large-scale European Games and Europe v USA match,” the head of state noted.
Belarus and Sverdlovsk Oblast of Russia have been steadily developing trade and economic cooperation. In 2018, the trade reached $431.3 million, up 17.6% year-on-year. In January-August 2019, the trade totaled $305.9 million, increasing by 9.6% from the previous year. The export grew 13.4% to make up $154.2 million. The import inched up 5.9% to $151.7 million. Belarus increased supplies of its liquid crystals and lasers by 73.5%, or $5.3 million. Belarus' export to Sverdlovsk Oblast also included cheese and curd, pipes trucks, electric transformers and plastic containers. In the Russian region there are direct subjects of commodity distribution networks set up with the participation of the Belarusian capital, a dealer network of several companies, including those in mechanical engineering and light industry.