Belarus, Chelyabinsk oblast to enhance manufacturing cooperation

Belarus offers the Chelyabinsk oblast to partake in setting up a plate rolling production, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky said as he met with Governor of the Chelyabinsk oblast Piotr Sumin on 15 December.

"The Government of Belarus plans to launch the construction of a plate rolling plant. You have a rich experience in this area. We invite you to take part in the project," Sergei Sidorsky said.

"Last year our German partners took part in setting up a production of seamless pipes," he said.

Sergei Sidorsky noted that Belarus is interested in cooperation with the Chelyabinsk oblast in the production of bulldozers and special-purpose equipment. "We are interested in the experience of the Chelyabinsk oblast. It will be a long-term programme. There is a great demand in such equipment," the Prime Minister said.

Other areas of cooperation between Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast is agriculture, Sergei Sidorsky said. Belarus can share its technologies and learn from the Russian region's experience of developing the wholesale and logistics warehouses. "We are ready to share our technologies, this is our asset, Sergei Sidorsky noted. The head of state also named the production of high-technology household appliances among promising areas of cooperation.

"We would to strengthen our business contacts. We would like to see more new jobs created and that our people have stable wages," he said.

In turn, Piotr Sumin noted that the Chelyabinsk oblast is interested in strengthening cooperation in other areas.

Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast of Russia have agreed to enhance manufacturing cooperation, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky told media.

Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast of Russia will set up a joint enterprise in Mozyr to manufacture reclamative machines, Sergei Sidorsky told.

The agreement was reached when the Prime Minister met with the Chelyabinsk oblast governor. During the talks the sides also reached an agreement on starting manufacturing Belarusian tractors and agricultural machines at Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant and on starting manufacturing BelAZ trucks in the Chelyabinsk oblast. The sides will also tightly cooperate in leasing. "We have agreed that these schemes will be actively promoted because it is important both for Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast," remarked the Prime Minister.

Apart from that, metallurgy practices of the Chelyabinsk oblast will be used in Belarus. In particular, Chelyabinsk oblast companies have been invited to set up a plate rolling enterprise in Belarus.

Major areas of cooperation between Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast are listed by a 2010-2011 action plan meant to promote trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation between the governments of Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast. The document was inked as a Chelyabinsk oblast delegation led by Governor Piotr Sumin visited Minsk on 15 December. The document will foster mutual penetration of businesses of Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast, stressed Sergei Sidorsky.

The Belarusian head of government remarked that the economies of Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast are not only similar but largely complimentary, primarily in metallurgy, mechanical engineering and consumer electronics. "Manufacturing cooperation in the Chelyabinsk oblast is very advanced. Over the last three years we have tripled the trade turnover," he said. "The crisis reduced the trade volume in 2009 but the key thing is that there are companies that maptain manufacturing cooperation ties and operate not only in Belarus and Russia but also on foreign markets".

In the near future Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast will have to restore the trade volume. "Everything is available to recover the lost. Chelyabinsk oblast products can be better represented on the Belarusian market while Belarusian products can be more represented on the Chelyabinsk oblast market". The head of government reminded that they had reached an agreement with the Chelyabinsk oblast earlier to avoid direct contracts between producers for the sake of replacing them with manufacturing cooperation schemes and the foundation of enterprises to solidify the trade and economic relations between Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast.

In turn, Chelyabinsk Oblast Governor Piotr Sumin remarked that the Chelyabinsk oblast expects Belarus to remap its strategic partner in addressing social, economic and scientific problems. "A lot has been done and even more has yet to be done," stressed the Governor. He said that a Belarus delegation should visit the Chelyabinsk oblast in order to assess what is being done to enhance manufacturing cooperation. "We also need to see and occupy all the spare areas which are idle in Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast," he added.

Speaking about prospects of building up cooperation between Belarus and the Chelyabinsk oblast, Piotr Sumin said the two markets have to be expanded. In his opinion, the markets can become stronger, including via promoting regional and international ties.

The Chelyabinsk oblast is part of the Urals federal district. Between 2004 and 2008 the total trade between Belarus and the Urals federal district increased by 170% to reach .7 billion (34% of Belarus' total trade with Russia). In 2008 Belarus-Chelyabinsk oblast trade totaled 7.1 million, 49.9% up. Belarus' export went up 17.8% to 0.8 million, import - 71.8% up to 6.3 million. The foreign trade deficit amounted to 5.5 million. In January-October 2009 Belarus-Chelyabinsk oblast trade shrank by 71.4% to 2.3 million. Belarus' major exports are refrigerators and freezers, parts and accessories for motor vehicles, trucks, tires, road machines, perfumery, cosmetics and so on. Major imports from the Chelyabinsk oblast are flat-rolled products made of carbon steel, ferrous alloys and so on.


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