MINSK, 16 May (BelTA) – Trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Russia's Vladimir Oblast is on the rise, and the growth pace must be maintained at all costs, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Vladimir Oblast Governor Alexander Avdeyev, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko welcomed the head of the Russian region to the hero city of Minsk and congratulated everyone on Victory Day, the anniversary of which was marked last week. “This is a great accomplishment of our people. I think we deserve another anniversary of this Great Victory and will cherish it religiously,” the president emphasized.
“I am sure that your first visit to our country in the capacity of the governor will allow you to assess more quickly the region's needs, find the right suppliers, and maybe sign new contracts,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said addressing Alexander Avdeyev. “Our government is eager to provide maximum assistance. In a word, we are ready to cooperate in everything we are good at and in everything you are interested in,” the head of state noted.
The president recalled that highest-level contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin are centered around efforts to deepen integration, industrial cooperation and, most importantly, import substitution. “You know, we are doing quite well. Even better than we expected. I think that the heads of regions and enterprises should be primarily interested in this, because they are on the ground, there, with people,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Everything that had to be adopted and signed by the heads of state and government has been done by and large. We are well-poised for implementing the ideas in bilateral cooperation that we discussed,” the Belarusian leader noted.
According to the president, in 2022 the bilateral trade reached its highest level since 2017, amounting to almost half a billion dollars, up by almost 20% over 2021. In January-March 2023, the positive trend remained in place: trade grew by almost a third year-on-year. “We need to maintain momentum whatever it takes,” the head of state set the task. At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that sometimes the rise in trade is followed by a drop. There should not be such sharp fluctuations, the president is convinced.
“We are supplying and want to continue supplying mechanical engineering products, machine tools, woodworking, chemical and light industry products, and agricultural products,” the head of state said. According to him, Belarus also suggests cooperating in a number of other areas, including supplies of pedigree livestock, land reclamation equipment. In turn, Belarus is well familiar with chemical products, mechanical engineering products and machine tools, and foodstuffs made in the Russian region.
“We produce world-class passenger and utility vehicles, trucks and haulers, agricultural machinery, road-building equipment, and elevators. Their quality and reliability have been tried and tested by many years of operation. The assortment range is constantly refreshed. Therefore, this is at your service. We will show you everything that you are interested in. I hope that during your visit to Belarus you and your colleagues will decide what kind of equipment Vladimir Oblast needs today, and we will deliver this equipment to you as soon as possible,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the similarities between Belarus and Vladimir Oblast, which is a solid foundation for building up bilateral cooperation: “This is our kindred region, it is like Belarus. We know that you are not super-rich (just like us), everything is earned by hard work, people are the same. Therefore, we have a good foundation for cooperation. We are always ready for this.”
Trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Vladimir Oblast is on the rise. In 2022, trade was estimated at almost $414 million, up by 20% over 2021, the biggest since 2017. In January-March this year, the upward trend was sustained: $93.4 million, up by 32% year-on-year.
In 2022, the Belarusian export to Vladimir Oblast amounted to $130 million, up by more than 46% over the previous year. Belarus exports to Vladimir Oblast liquid crystal devices, lasers, components of rolling stock, resins and polyurethanes, glass fiber and related products, non-woven materials and imports copper wire, components of rolling stock, chocolate and cocoa products, specific goods, and sugar confectionery.