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Lukashenko tells Austrian businessmen about key principles in cooperation with Belarus

VIENNA (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko talked about key principles in cooperation with his country in his speech during a Belarusian-Austrian business forum in Vienna on 12 November, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about his participation in the business forum, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that sending some sort of signal to the business community was not the idea. “First of all, I wanted to demonstrate my respect for you. If someone wants to receive some signal on top of that, I don't mind. Consider yourselves getting the signal right now,” the head of state said.

The president stressed that Belarus and Austria have a huge untapped potential. He described the bilateral trade in the vicinity of $200 million as nothing but a shameful fact. “It is a shame. We should get rid of it fast,” the Belarusian leader stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko told representatives of the private sector plainly: “If you come to us with investments, if you work and treat Belarusians like you treat Austrians, you will always be my citizens to me and I will support you by all means.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed the readiness to build transparent and mutually beneficial relations with foreign companies. “You don't have to bring suitcases full of money as bribes. It is the most important thing. If you do that, you will never be welcome in Belarus. To be precise, you will be welcome to serve time in prison. This is why I warn you: we will not tolerate any bribery and corruption. Come honestly, openly, and transparently,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that Belarus will follow the agreements that have been reached to the letter: “If we come to an agreement, we will always honor our commitments even if it turns out doing so is detrimental to our country. A deal is a deal!”

“These are the key principles we will follow while working with you. Come and let's work together. Come into the safe country of Belarus where there are highly qualified people, where there are responsible people who have had their fair share of suffering over the course of history and know how to appreciate the money they earn,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

A number of documents were signed as a result of the business forum. According to Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich, it will add over $200 million to Belarus-Austria trade.

The Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding in cooperation with the Austrian Energy Agency.

The Belarusian company AK-Miory Ltd signed a cooperation agreement with Vamed Engineering GmbH.

The Belarusian steel mill BMZ signed three documents. The Belarusian company and Pisec Group Austria GmbH signed an agreement on giving up to €20 million as untied funding to BMZ in 2020 for manufacturing needs. BMZ, Pisec Group Austria GmbH, and the Netherlandish company Merksteijn International B.V. signed a trilateral agreement on exporting up to 180,000 tonnes of Belarusian rolled steel to the tune of over €70 million to Europe in 2020.

Apart from that, an annual framework agreement was signed with Belmet Handelsgesellschaft mbH on supplying metal products worth €27.5 million in 2020.

SZAO Safe Roads of Belarus and Siemens AG Austria signed a cooperation agreement.

A joint declaration on stepping up cooperation in the area of communications, information and communications technologies, and the development of a 5G broadband network was also signed in Vienna during the official visit of the Belarusian head of state. An agreement on scientific cooperation between the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Austrian Academy of Sciences was also signed.