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16 May 2024, 14:55

Lukashenko, Aliyev discuss ways to expand Belarus-Azerbaijan manufacturing cooperation

BAKU, 16 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Azerbaijan are ready to significantly expand manufacturing cooperation. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement after negotiations with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that Belarus and Azerbaijan are implementing a roadmap designed to advance bilateral cooperation. A session of the intergovernmental commission is expected to take place in Minsk soon. The parties have decided to update this document taking into account the new arrangements.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, some things are outdated and there are projects that need to be implemented.

The president said: “We’ve discussed all the matters. There were no closed topics. I am talking not only about MTZ tractors, about joint production but also about the joint production of MAZ vehicles and fire trucks. Production of elevator equipment. It is necessary to replace old elevators in Soviet-era houses. We’ve preserved elevator production and are ready to make these machines here together with our Azerbaijani friends.”

Azerbaijan is also interested in the production of rolling stock for railroads such as flatbed cars and tank cars. Belarus is ready to share its experience in this field as well.

Cooperation in agriculture is as important. Belarus can sell elite varieties of cattle to Azerbaijan. The construction of agrotowns and infrastructure, the establishment of dairy farms, and the development of private farms are some of the options. It is particularly topical for territories in need of revival, the head of state noted.

Trade in sawn timber is a traditional avenue of Belarus-Azerbaijan cooperation. Belarus is ready to go the extra mile now and build wooden houses in the areas Azerbaijan is busy reviving.

The heads of state are expected to analyze the realization of the roadmap in November. An international UN conference on climate change is scheduled to take place in Baku then. The Belarus president intends to take part in it.

In 2023 Belarus-Azerbaijan trade exceeded $400 million. But the parties believe they can raise the figure to $1 billion albeit not right away.

“It will be a very big step. We may have to do it in two steps. We will raise trade turnover to $500 million within 1-1.5 years first. We will raise it to $1 billion after a certain period of time. We will do our best to reach the goal. For instance, if we buy some product that Azerbaijan makes from unfriendly countries, then we should stop doing that and buy the product from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will do the same to meet us halfway,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko invited Ilham Aliyev to come to Belarus on an official visit at a time of his convenience in order to continue the bilateral dialogue.
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