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Belarus to produce1.5m tonnes of oil in Venezuela next year

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – Belarus plans to reach 1.5 million tonnes in annual oil production in Venezuela in 2012, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko said at the forum “Venezuela-Belarus: Progress and Prospects in Bilateral Relations” on 23 November.

In his words, Belarus and Venezuela has set up a joint oil production company Petrolera BeloVenesolana. In 2010 the company produced 741,000 tonnes of oil. This year oil production has reached 950,000 tonnes. This figure is expected to hit 1.1 million tonnes by the end of the year. “We expect that oil production will make up 1.5 million tonnes next year,” Vladimir Semashko noted.

Speaking on the importance of the forum for bilateral relations, the First Vice Premier stressed that Belarus treats Venezuelan people as friends and follows the country’s progressive development. “We rejoice at the successes of Venezuela to build a strong independent state, ensure social equity, improve the well-being of people,” he said.

In the future the countries intend to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation. Long distance has never been an obstacle, said Vladimir Semashko. A lot has already been done to enhance cooperation and bring the Belarusian-Venezuelan relations to a qualitatively new level. In 2000, bilateral trade between the countries was as little as $1.9 million. In 2010 it reached $1.5 billion. Last year Venezuela accounted for 2.5% of Belarus’ foreign trade. Venezuela has become the main partner of Belarus in America. In January-September this year, trade between Belarus and Venezuela was up by 15.6% and exceeded $1 billion.

Belarus has a deficit in foreign trade with Venezuela in view of oil supplies, said Vladimir Semashko. The Belarusian side will try to balance the trade out by increasing exports to Venezuela.