VITEBSK, 27 September (BelTA) – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Belarus Alok Ranjan has recently arrived in Belarus. He went on the first visit to Vitebsk on 27 September, BelTA has learned.
According to the diplomat, he sees potential for the development of relations between Vitebsk Oblast and India in economy and culture. Alok Ranjan intends to continue the work started by his predecessor in addition to exploring new cooperation avenues. The ambassador said: “It is necessary to increase trade turnover with Belarus and with Vitebsk Oblast in particular. Vitebsk has a good atmosphere for business and offers a lot of opportunities. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to set up 1-2 successful companies here to serve as advertisements to our other investors.” The diplomat asked to talk openly about problems during the visit and point out the promising avenues of cooperation he does not know yet.
The ambassador also reminded that India will celebrate the 75th anniversary of independence this year. Belarus-India diplomatic relations will mark 30 years in 2022. Three joint cultural events will take place in Vitebsk.
Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev noted that Vitebsk Oblast has been working with India for a long time but would like to increase pace and trade turnover, which totaled $16.4 million in 2020. “Over the course of many years we've developed relations in trade, primarily petrochemical products, and there is a bit in other spheres. But confident work in the sphere of university education is what makes me glad the most. For over 20 years the Vitebsk Medical University has been training students from India. Certainly, we would like to more tightly cooperate in this direction. We would like to see more students. We are ready to offer education services of other higher education institutions as well,” the official said.
Nikolai Sherstnev also talked about the logistics hub Bremino-Orsha where foreign enterprises and joint ventures can be established using the preferences the territory offers. The management of the free economic zone Vitebsk pointed out that the establishment of an industrial cluster in the zone had been discussed previously. Investment projects have already been worked out, concrete proposals are available.
During the two-day trip Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Belarus Alok Ranjan will get familiar with the operation of the free economic zone Vitebsk and its resident companies. He will visit the Vitebsk Medical University and will have a working meeting in the Vitebsk branch of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.