MINSK, 28 November (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia can make significant progress in terms of import substitution, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Primorye Territory Oleg Kozhemyako in Minsk on 28 November, BelTA has learned.
"We see that all economic problems that we are dealing today in both Russia and Belarus can be overcome. We are working to overcome them. There are some impediments, unfortunately some bureaucratic moments. We'll talk about that. This does not apply to Primorye Territory but to our cooperation with Russia in general. We will meet with the Russian president soon. These issues will be on the agenda of our meeting too. If we address some minor issues, then we can make significant progress in terms of import substitution. That's the most important thing for us now. This year has already shown that we will cope. We just need a little time, but we will cope," the Belarusian leader stressed.
Welcoming Oleg Kozhemyako, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that he was happy to meet with him, “to hear what has changed in our Far East, what the economic state of affairs is, whether there is any progress in cooperation with neighbors. Naturally, what are the difficulties? And in this regard, in what way can Belarus help?" the Belarusian leader asked.
In his words, nothing has changed in Belarus' attitude towards Primorye Territory and the governor personally. “We are ready to welcome you at any time, in any weather. You should feel it. Your name is mentioned very often at my meetings with the Russian authorities and with the governors who visit us. We find common ground,” the president said.
Belarus's trade and economic cooperation with Russia's Primorye Territory has been rapidly developing in recent years. The trade went up from $17.3 million in 2020 to $32.7 million in 2021. In January-September 2022, it soared by another 80% year-on-year to about $40 million. Exports more than doubled and reached $32.5 million. Belarus' main exports to Primorye Territory include trucks, defense and security products, equipment and devices for filtering liquids or gases, cheese and cottage cheese, butter and cream, construction plastic. The bulk of imports from Primorye Territory are parts and accessories for automobiles and tractors, medicines, flour made from meat by-products and fish, boron oxides, and electric batteries.
The Russian region has established cooperation with many industrial enterprises of Belarus. In January-September 2022 Minsk Electrotechnical Plant named after V.I. Kozlov exported power transformers worth $1.6 million to the Russian region (up 7.4 times year-on-year). In the summer, this Belarusian company signed a memorandum with the Ussuriysk auto repair plant to organize assembly production of power transformers in Primorye Territory.