SMOLENSK, 21 October (BelTA
) – Vitebsk-based Polimerkonstruktsia and Fortex-Water Technologies can take part in Russian environmental programs, the chief of staff of the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee Alexei Matyushko said in an interview to BelTA prior to the signing of the plan of action to the agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation for the next year between the administration of Smolensk Oblast (Russian Federation) and the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee (Republic of Belarus).
The main priorities of economic cooperation are development of export/import operations, joint projects, and industrial cooperation between the parties, he said. Attention should be given to supplying more sophisticated goods rather than rapeseed, flax fiber, peat, mushrooms, berries, meat, milk, vegetables and potatoes.
Smolensk Oblast is part of some federal programs. The region is planning to develop its own regional programs which could involve Vitebsk enterprises. Smolensk is most interested in Vitebsk’s experience in production of flax, canola, milk, meat, vegetables, fruit, housing and utilities services, ecological and environmental projects.
Vitebsk-based Polimerkonstrukcia and Fortex-Water Technologies produce a wide range of water cleaning stations and iron removal units using the latest technology. According to Alexei Matyushko, these and similar manufacturers can take part in Russian environmental programs.
Another area of joint cooperation may be the creation of transport and logistics centers on the border with Latvia and Lithuania or near major transport hubs such as Orsha and Vitebsk that are home to airports, railway and highway junctions. The Vitebsk Meat and Dairy Products Concern is implementing an investment project at the Moloko company to produce demineralised whey. The project is export-oriented, advantageous and may be of interest to Smolensk partners.
Vitebsk Oblast also intends to offer a range of projects in agricultural production and processing. According to Alexei Matyushko, Russian partners offer to start production facilities in Smolensk Oblast engaging the resources of such federal programs as “Flax”, “Grain”, “Agricultural machine-building”. They are also interested in Belarusian experience in establishing agro-towns.
In January-August 2011 foreign trade between Vitebsk and Smolensk regions amounted to $151.2 million (up 26%). Exports reached $100.9 million (up 18%), imports $50.4 million (up 45%). For the past decade trade between Smolensk and Vitebsk oblasts has increased six times.
In terms of trade and exports, Smolensk Oblast is one of the three major trading partners of Vitebsk Oblast in Russia, after Moscow and Moscow region. Food products account for 32% of the total export of Vitebsk Oblast to Smolensk Oblast. Meat and dairy products are in the highest demand.