Andrei Kobyakov 28-29 January 2016 has visited St. Petersburg

It is necessary for Belarus and Saint Petersburg to restore mutual trade to at least $2 billion, Belarus’ Premier Andrei Kobyakov said at the eighth meeting of the Business Cooperation Council of Belarus and Saint Petersburg on 29 January.

“Saint Petersburg is one of Belarus’ most important trade and economic partners among the Russian regions. In 2015 the mutual trade reached almost $1.5 billion. It is a good figure but still it is less than we had in 2014 ($2 billion), the period of our best ever trade and economic cooperation. We must reach the figures we had in 2014,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, the PM expressed hope for a constructive dialogue.

The Belarusian head of government said that he met with Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko to share opinions on the whole range of cooperation areas. “Considered all round, we work efficiently and dynamically. There are issues, but they are solvable. We came to one point that the cooperation between Saint Petersburg and Belarus is mutually beneficial and we need to assist its further development,” Andrei Kobyakov stressed.

In his words, first of all cooperation should be developed in industrial cooperation. He cited as an example a joint producer of elevators set up by OAO Mogilevliftmash and OAO Saint Petersburg Lift Building Plant in 2014. “Another plant to assemble lifts was set up in 2015. We should support this project in order take it to the full production capacity,” the Prime Minister said.
Also Andrei Kobyakov said, that Belarus is ready to increase exports of the whole range of its goods and services to Saint Petersburg. “Belarusian companies are ready to step up supplies of their products and services to Saint Petersburg,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

In his words, a share of Belarusian construction services can be made higher. “We are aware of Saint Petersburg’s grandiose plans ahead of the 2018 IIHF World Championship, including the construction and modernization of transport infrastructure, a launch of new metro stations. Belarusian constructors possess necessary experience, including in designing big infrastructure projects,” the Prime Minister said.

He suggested considering the participation of Belarusian designers and constructors in the projects of Saint Petersburg. “We offer it on a mutual basis. We are interested in projects that Saint Petersburg can offer,” said Andrei Kobyakov.
At the end of the the eighth meeting of the Business Cooperation Counci Belarus and St. Petersburg approved the list and volumes of Belarusian food supplies for 2016. “We have discussed such an important issue as Belarusian food supplies to St. Petersburg. Last year they totaled nearly $0.5 billion. We believe the potential here is still hugely untapped. Today we have approved the list and volumes of Belarusian food supplies to St. Petersburg,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In his words, the experience shows that such documents that are signed on an annual basis are implemented in full. “It is a good instrument of bilateral cooperation. We should make use of it,” the Belarusian head of government said. He stressed that in general the cooperation between Belarus and St. Petersburg is reliable and profitable for both the sides.

The two parties also signed a protocol of the meeting of the working group in charge of industrial cooperation development and advancement of joint innovative projects of Belarus and St. Petersburg. Apart from it, the Plastic Processing Plant named after Komsomolskaya Pravda and the Baranovichi machine tool plant Atlant signed a memorandum of intentions on the acquisition of new equipment.

The lineup of Belarusian goods imported to Saint Petersburg should be expanded and increased, Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said during the meeting of the Business Cooperation Council of Belarus and Saint Petersburg on 29 January4.

“We have a big potential for growth. I am talking about the expansion and increase of supplies of Belarusian food and industrial products to Saint Petersburg. It is also vital to continue talks on the acquisition of municipal vehicles, buses and electric transport. These are high-quality products that have a good track record,” said Georgy Poltavchenko. In his words, a new mechanism of financing the acquisition of transport vehicles will contribute to the expansion of cooperation.

Georgy Poltavchenko added that Belarus and Saint Petersburg have other examples of successful cooperation.

“Today’s difficult macroeconomic and geopolitical situation should be an additional stimulus for us to search for new mechanisms of stabilization and promising areas of economic growth,” he said.

The ninth meeting of the Business Cooperation Council of Belarus and St. Petersburg will take place in Belarus in Q4 2016.

Also Belarus’ Premier Andrei Kobyakov’s has visited the Plastic Processing Plant named after Komsomolskaya Pravda on 29 January. The project of joint venture to produce automatic molding machines with a high degree of localization was discussed while visiting the plant.  Andrei Kobyakov was shown the automatic molding machine AtlantT125 of the Baranovichi machine-tool plant that was supplied to Saint Petersburg in June 2015. According to Piotr Khimich, chief engineer at the Plastic Processing Plant named after Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Belarusian equipment has showed itself to a good advantage. “We can say it is “a working platform”,” he said.​
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