News.Az interviews Nicholai Patskevich, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Belarus in Azerbaijan.
The second national fair of Belarus will be held in Baku on May 5-7. Which types of production will it feature and which companies will take part in the exposition?
Well, the national fair envisions participation of almost all representatives of all spheres, the whole national economic complex of our country. This is how it will all be. The formation of the exposition that will take about 800 square meters of closed area in the concert and exhibition complex named after Heydar Aliyev has already completed. We expect the whole external area to be covered with technique too. What will be featured here? It will firstly be the mechanical engineering, while the center of the exposition will present production of our joint activity-this is a production of Ganja under our joint project including assembly of tractors, cars, cranes for chassis. Today the Ganja mechanical engineering plant is actively working at assimilation of the production of communal technique on the basis of MAZ, that is the clean sweep devices. This is also a attached and towing implements, as well as agricultural technique. We will present the Belarus bus, the Belarus BelAz-a carrier car produced by the Zhodinsk Belarus automobile plant.
The ministry of industry will present production of mechanical engineering on 200 square meters of the territory. There, tens of enterprises will be represented from different spheres including mechanical engineering, microelectronics, instrument making. We will also present woodworking, light industry, materials, clothes, footwear and other directions. Certainly, there will be presented the medical sphere, equipment, medicines, construction sphere, building materials, architecture, construction, projection. Certainly, the big bloc will represent processing of food and agricultural production.
Who will lead the Belarus delegation and will the delegation be representative?
The production of about 150 Belarus enterprises will be demonstrated at the exhibition. A seminar during which the representatives of Belarus will tell all concerned people about the tendencies of our economic development, attractiveness of our investment climate, conditions of settlements for the companies that are trading with Belarus will be held within the framework of the seminar. We expect one of the vice primes of our state will head the Belarus delegation.
Certainly, numerous business contacts and meetings will be held during the visit of the delegation. We have received many applications both from Belarus and Azerbaijan. We have many requests to organize such meetings. I think everyone who takes part in this exhibition on the Belarus side will have an opportunity to meet a number of potential partners from the Azerbaijani side. We are also sending invitations to all leaders of the Azerbaijani regions to sent their representatives and we are confident that those who attend the exhibition will not regret it. They will be able to get convinced that today Belarus produces a number of good, attractive commodity and have an opportunity to discuss the terms of cooperation with representatives of the Belarus entities.
Mr.Patskevich, you have been leading the diplomatic representation of Belarus in Azerbaijan for already several years. You are probably well informed about the directions of cooperation which is currently studied for establishment of new mutually profitable economic contacts between the two countries. Which kinds of goods is Belarus interested in purchasing in Azerbaijan and vice versa?
We are closely watching the dynamics of development, we are satisfied with this dynamics. We are glad that our friendly country and friendly people demonstrate such dynamism in development and certainly the words of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that our economies are not competing, they are supplementing each other are true which is proven by our practical contacts. The thing is that indeed the thesis on the development of the nonoil economic sector meets our needs. Most of these spheres are developed well in our country. These are agriculture, mechanical engineering, processing and we already see a number of projects. I have already mentioned Ganja, we maintain big cooperation for replacement of lift economy in communal system. I am sure that there are very many projects for the future which will be profitable for both parties.
On the other hand, both Belarus and Azerbaijan have a good potential of transit traffic development. Like Azerbaijan is a leader and important chain in communication channels, routes, Belarus is the same in our region. Therefore, we are currently cooperating in the sphere of information technologies on construction of the Eurasian information bridge. The same perspectives exist in the goods logistics. The construction of the trade and logistic centers will be profitable both for one and the same state.
The problem of tourism cannot be bypassed. Both Azerbaijan and Belarus have a deep history and great moral and cultural traditions. We should study each other and we should develop tourism business for this purpose. Belarus will learn and see many interesting things in Azerbaijan and be able to have a rest here. The same can be applied to Azerbaijanis who visited Belarus. And it is a pleasure for me that the leadership of both Azerbaijan and Belarus pay serious attention to this and I think there will be many successful projects in this direction soon. This will also be promoted by the development of air communication. Once we had no air communication at all and now two air flights a week are operated and we expect to move to three air flights a week from May 11. This creates wonderful conditions both for tourists and business people and we see the correlation between the number of flights and number of business trips. This promotes business which means that business enlivens trade turnover, transport and this creates opportunity for the further development of the work of the transport communication. Therefore, there are very good prospects for this.
By the way, do you have any information on mutual trade turnover this year? Which visits are expected in the nearest future?
As for the achieved volumes of trade turnover since the beginning of this year, we do not have the final statistical information of the Belarus side for the first quarter. In two months the growth rates of the trade turnover between our two countries amount to 136%. According to the Azerbaijani statistics, we see that this dynamics was preserved by results of the first quarter and we are confident that it will be preserved within the whole year. There are already real commodity flows and real projects. I would like to say that the trade turnover dropped in all countries, without exception including in our countries, but the trade turnover between our countries has risen to 115% last crisis year. The current positive growth over the growth of the last year is a good dynamics. That is there is no crisis in our bilateral relations and we are confident that there will be none of it. On the contrary, the intensification of our bilateral cooperation will grow.
The number of conducted visits is an important indicator of the level of bilateral relations
Over 150 visits were organized by the line of the embassy last year alone. Of them over 100 visits of Belarus state officials and leaders of institutions and ministries, enterprises, businessmen to Azerbaijan, therefore, it is difficult to list all of them and thanks God, it is not needed at all. The most important is that during each flight, one, two or three delegations fly to exchange experience. A delegation headed by the Ministry of Economic Development is currently working in Belarus. AZPROMO organized the visit of the Azerbaijani business delegations, representatives of big companies Azersun, Gimikaya, Gilan and others to Belarus. By our preliminary information, the contracts on supply of Azerbaijani production to Belarus have also been signed. This is rejoicing for us. Almost every day some delegations are working somewhere and, Thanks God, we do not know all of them, because there is a great number of them and our small embassy is unable to control this. Our task is to create conditions and take information and system measures to promote these contacts.