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from 23.11.2015

Andrei Kobyakov met with Leningrad Oblast Governor

Belarus and Russia’s Leningrad Oblast should find reserves to raise the mutual trade turnover up to at least $700 million. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement as he met with Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Drozdenko on 23 November.

The Prime Minister stated that Belarus’ cooperation with Leningrad Oblast relies on a serious foundation. “We have a commission on trade and economic cooperation. Nevertheless, meetings are very useful for finding new reserves, breaking established stereotypes for the sake of finding new opportunities for raising mutual trade turnover,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In his words, Belarus and Leningrad Oblast have steady trade turnover as large as $500 million. “We don’t have that kind of relations with many countries. Now we see a small emerging downward trend. This is why we should do everything to reverse the trend and raise the trade volume up to $700 million just like we agreed,” said the Belarusian head of government.

Andrei Kobyakov stated that Leningrad Oblast is a well-developed agrarian region. Many Belarusian companies specializing in this area actively interact with colleagues from this region of Russia. “Seven or eight years ago we talked about you needing tractors more powerful than Belarusian ones. I think now you must be aware of the fact that we have mastered the production of a wide range of powerful vehicles. We would like to discuss the opportunities we can now offer to you,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister also noted that Belarus has good things to offer to the processing industry. “I think we can share the best practices and set up joint ventures to process agricultural products,” said Andrei Kobyakov. In his words, Belarus and Leningrad Oblast have good opportunities for cooperation in pedigree cattle husbandry.

The Belarusian head of government also stated that Belarus offers a wide range of municipal vehicles and road construction machines. “We know you have an entire road construction program. We are ready to take part in any capacity – as contractors, as general contractors. We are ready to offer designing services,” assured Andrei Kobyakov.

The Prime Minister noted that Belarus was ready to take cooperation with Leningrad Oblast to the next level. “I think we have something to contribute, something to surprise each other with in interesting ways in order for us not to reduce the trade turnover but reach a stable growth trajectory,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In turn, Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Drozdenko attributed this year’s decrease in mutual trade to differences in currency exchange rates. “Today we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at the existing trade and economic relations,” he remarked. In his words, today Belarusian goods of any kind are prioritized over competition due to their value for money ratio.

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