GOMEL, 27 April (BelTA) – Prospects for stepping up and advancing cooperation between Gomel Oblast and the Russian city of Omsk were discussed as Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee Ivan Krupko met with an Omsk delegation led by the mayor Sergei Shelest on 27 April, BelTA has learned.
The guests were informed about Gomel Oblast's industrial, export, scientific, technical, and manpower potential and about the opportunities available in the Belarusian region.
Ivan Krupko remarked: “For Gomel Oblast the Russian Federation is the main partner in economic and social affairs. Russia's share in foreign trade has been in excess of 80% of the last few years.” At present 380 Gomel Oblast enterprises sell their products to Russia, he specified.
The Gomel Oblast governor went on saying: “Russia is the top investor in Gomel Oblast economy. Russian investments totaled $202 million even in the complicated year of 2022.” The official added that Gomel Oblast is home to 450 organizations with Russian capital.
Ivan Krupko said: “Nowadays the significance of Belarus-Russia interregional cooperation is on the rise. At present Gomel Oblast and constituent entities of the Russian Federation are connected by 34 interregional agreements. This interaction has picked up noticeably recently.” For instance, Gomel enterprises work together with Russian partners to determine import substitution prospects and are eager to advance manufacturing cooperation ties.
Ivan Krupko underlined the importance of cooperation in patriotic education of young generations, in preserving historical memory, immortalization of deeds of heroes of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, in passing on the true values to the young generation.
The official said: “We are ready to discuss any proposals aimed at the invigoration of bilateral cooperation and at mutual complementation of the economies of our regions. We are ready to offer maximum support to all ideas and projects not only in economic affairs but also humanitarian ones.”
In turn, Omsk Mayor Sergei Shelest admitted that the delegation had been charmed by Gomel and by the people that live there. “I am amazed by the order and the cleanliness in the republic as a whole,” he noted.
The mayor pointed out that the two countries have a common movement vector. Belarus and Russia cooperated tightly in the past, however, the external situation encouraged their tighter cooperation now.
Sergei Shelest is convinced there are many areas where the two regions can develop partnership. “We've visited a number of your industrial organizations, a technopark. I believe that there are [prospects] in petrochemical industry, mechanical engineering industry,” the mayor cited some examples.
In his opinion, joint projects can be implemented in education, culture, and sport. “We have common areas and common problems. Gomel has a number of accomplishments. Omsk can also offer interesting breakthroughs to Gomel residents,” Sergei Shelest said.
“We will soon organize [a dialogue]. Online at first. Our chamber of commerce and industry will gather businessmen, representatives of culture, sport, and education. And we will look into all the matters of interest for one side and the other one. More specific details and proposals will be presented by the enterprises and organizations that will have to implement them,” the mayor noted.