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from 07.10.2016

Andrei Kobyakov took part at the ninth meeting of the Belarus-Saint Petersburg Business Cooperation Council

Belarus invites Saint Petersburg to develop manufacturing and investment cooperation, Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said when speaking at the ninth meeting of the Belarus-Saint Petersburg Business Cooperation Council which held in Minsk on October 7.

Saint Petersburg is one of Belarus’ largest foreign trade partners among the Russian regions in terms of trade. However, recently the mutual trade has not matched the potential of Belarus and Saint Petersburg,” said the Prime Minister. In 2015 the trade decreased by 28%, and in January-August 2016 it went down by nearly 10%. “Given this situation I believe we need to create more effective models of cooperation. Belarus and Saint Petersburg have every opportunity for this,” Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said.

One of the most promising areas of partnership is to promote cooperation between manufacturers of Belarus and St. Petersburg, including the establishment of joint ventures. “We have positive examples of such cooperation,” the Prime Minister said. A project to set up the joint production of elevators at Nevsky Lift enterprises has got traction. “The decision to allot the land plot for this promising joint venture has been taken already,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

OAO Belaz and PAO Zvezda have been working together on the development of engines for trucks. Vitebsk enterprises Monolit and Kulon Company have been also making progress in the project to start manufacturing electronic equipment. “Promising is the project of cooperation between the Baranovichi machine-tool plant and Komsomolskaya Pravda company to manufacture automatic molding machines. We visited this company early this year,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

In his view, Belarus and Saint Petersburg can devise new schemes of manufacturing cooperation.

Belarus is also interested in the development of investment partnership with Saint Petersburg. For investors Belarus has created a favorable environment. “For example Detskoselsky Concern has implemented a range of agricultural projects in Vitebsk Oblast,” the Prime Minister said. “We are ready to engage in a substantive dialogue with other interested investors from Saint Petersburg,” the Belarusian Prime Minister added.

According to him, Belarus invites Saint Petersburg to expand cooperation in science, technology and innovations, including within the framework of the Belarus-Russia Union State programs.

Andrei Kobyakov believes that Belarus and Saint Petersburg should join their efforts in the implementation of scientific solutions related to optics, laser technology, radiation ecology, and personalized medicine based on genetic engineering in real economy. “The great scientific and manufacturing potential of Belarus and Saint Petersburg creates the necessary preconditions,” the Prime Minister stressed.

For his part, Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said that the joint projects in innovation economy are quite promising. “During our today’s visits to Belarusian enterprises, I got convinced that you have many opportunities for the manufacture of innovative products able to enter foreign markets,” he stressed.

Also Andrei Kobyakov noted, that interregional interaction can become a driving force for the development of the partnership between Belarus and Saint Petersburg.

According to the Prime Minister, the Days of Saint Petersburg in Minsk showed that the parties have a high interest in strengthening interregional contacts. “I believe that the interregional interaction can serve as a driving force for our partnership,” the Belarusian Prime Minister said.

According to him, Belarus is ready to take part in the construction of houses and infrastructure in Saint Petersburg.

“Belarusian construction companies are ready to participate in the construction of housing and infrastructure facilities in Saint Petersburg,” noted the Prime Minister.

In his words, Belarus is also interested in the symmetrical construction of a Belarusian city block in Saint Petersburg and a Saint Petersburg block in Minsk. The Minsk city administration has already picked two land plots for these projects. “We will hear a report from those responsible today,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

The Prime Minister of Belarus told media later on that the share of Belarusian construction companies on the Saint Petersburg market of civil engineering services can be larger. “We are aware of Saint Petersburg’s grand plans concerning the 2018 world football championship, including the construction and modernization of the transport infrastructure and the opening of new metro stations,” said Andrei Kobyakov. “Belarusian construction workers have the necessary experience, including the preparation of major infrastructure projects.”

As he summed up results of the ninth session of the Belarus-Saint Petersburg Business Cooperation Council, Andrei Kobyakov said, that Belarus and Saint Petersburg intend to restore the bilateral trade turnover to at least $2 billion per annum. Andrei Kobyakov said: “To restore the trade turnover to at least $2 billion is the key task for Belarus and Saint Petersburg in the near future.”

In his words, participants of the session of the Belarus-Saint Petersburg Business Cooperation Council discussed the entire range of matters concerning bilateral cooperation. Concrete measures were sketched out for the production sector, civil engineering, agriculture, transport, education, healthcare, and culture.

In turn, Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko added that the sides have a good potential for expanding the partnership. The program on Belarus-Saint Petersburg cooperation in 2017-2021, which was signed in Minsk on 7 October, will contribute to the advancement of manufacturing cooperation ties. It will also reinvigorate existing contacts and will enable conditions for the implementation of new joint projects.

Belarus and Saint Petersburg signed the program of cooperation in trade, economy, science and humanitarian affairs for 2017-2021. The program was signed following the ninth meeting of the Belarus-Saint Petersburg Business Cooperation Council chaired by Belarusian Prime minister Andrei Kobyakov and Saint Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko.

The program provides for more than 50 activities across all industry sectors. “This roadmap envisages a number of investment projects,” the Prime Minister said in a press briefing following the meeting.

For example, Detskoselsky Concern is implementing the projects to produce and process milk, potatoes and vegetables in Belarus and to arrange their subsequent delivery to Saint Petersburg. During the meeting, an agreement was reached to strengthen the manufacturing ties between Belarus and Saint Petersburg and to set up joint ventures based on the examples of successful joint projects. These include a project between BelAZ and PAO Zvezda to create a new generation of diesel engines, and a project between the Belarusian Production Association Planar and Saint Petersburg company Avangard to develop a joint center for micro-system engineering.

Promising is the project of cooperation between the Baranovichi machine-tool plant and the Komsomolskaya Pravda research company to manufacture automatic molding machines. “The Russian company already uses the Belarusian solution to manufacture parts from plastics. Now the plan is to start manufacturing such devices in Russia. The project will allow the Russian company to completely give up on the unnecessary imports,” the Belarusian Prime Minister said.


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