Belarus considers UAE strategic partner in Persian Gulf region - PM

MINSK, May 23 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus considers the United Arab Emirates its strategic partner in the Persian Gulf region, Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said.

In his meeting with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan on Saturday, Sidorsky said, "I'm satisfied for a short period of time both countries succeeded in reaching a higher level in cooperation."

At the same time, he said trade turnover between the two countries did not correspond to the high level of political dialogue and the economic potential of Belarus and the UAE. Thus, last year trade turnover between Belarus and all world countries reached 72 million U.S. dollars while it amounted to 21.4 million U.S. dollar with the United Arab Emirates.

In order to step up trade and economic cooperation Sidorsky proposed to carry out several projects. In his words, Belarus may supply pipes and milk powder to the UAE and other countries of the region. "These projects are practically ready," the Belarussian prime minister said.

The government sources told Itar-Tass Minsk also proposed to set up automobile assembly facilities in the UAE. This equipment is produced by Belarussian automobile factories, as well as by Amkodor JSC. In addition, BelZa, MAZ and Belmedtekhnika and the Belarussian metallurgical plant, as well as Milavitsa Company and some other enterprises, have good prospects for increasing export to the United Arab Emirates.

Nahyan showed interest in Belarus' proposals, primarily on milk powder supplies, and the development of cooperation in the agrarian sector. He also supported Belarus' initiative to create a joint inter-governmental commission on trade and economic cooperation.

According to the UAE minister, "the creation of a legal base should be one of the priorities of the commission in order to guarantee businessmen' s interests". In addition, the commission will "make meetings between businessmen of the two countries more regular", he said.

The UAE foreign minister is currently in Minsk on a working visit. He is accompanied by representatives of business circles of the UAE.



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