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Belarus, Novosibirsk urged to boost cooperation in high-tech industries

MINSK, 29 May (BelTA) - Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast need to boost cooperation in high technology and knowledge-intensive industries, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast of Russia Vasily Yurchenko.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that in the current economic situation no one will benefit much from simple barter operations. He noted that back in the Soviet times dozens of Novosibirsk and Belarusian enterprises maintained close cooperation ties. "Back then these were supplies of spare parts and units. Today we need to raise cooperation to a qualitatively new level,” stressed the President. The head of state believes that there is a need to develop bilateral projects based on the integration of resources, production, technological and human capacities. "They (bilateral projects. – note by BelTA) should be focused on the manufacture of high-tech and knowledge-based product that will be competitive in the markets of third countries,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

The President noted that the formation of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space has created favorable conditions for the integration of the economies. There are virtually no barriers to the bilateral relations. “Joint projects in the area of passenger transport, agricultural machinery, agro-industrial processing may be of interest from the point of view of production cooperation,” said the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the scientific advances of Novosibirsk Oblast. “Famous Akademgorodok is one of the world's largest academic centers and combines resources of four Russian academies of science,” the Belarusian leader noted and underlined that Belarus also has some achievements in science and technology it can be proud of.

“It is beneficial for us to cooperate with scientists of this region. I believe we should distinguish this sector as a special area of cooperation as your economy is also based on scientific achievements,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The Belarusian President suggested compiling a joint list of sci-tech projects of mutual interest. “Their implementation should be among the priorities of Belarus-Novosibirsk Oblast cooperation. Alexander Lukashenko noted that cooperation with Russian regions has always been of high significance for Belarus. In his words, Novosibirsk Oblast is one of Belarus’ most important trading partners among the regions of Siberia, Urals and Far East. Last year the trade between Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast increased 1.7 times over 2010 to exceed $200 million. Belarus’ main exports to Novosibirsk Oblast are engineering products. “Our companies are ready to satisfy the demand of your region for any equipment we produce,” the President of Belarus said.

The head of state praised the idea of setting up a business cooperation council between Belarus and Novosibirsk Oblast. “Belarus has already gained valuable experience of mutually beneficial operation of these organizations not only with Russian regions but also across the world,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Addressing the delegation from Novosibirsk Oblast, Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus views this Russian region as a reliable and promising partner. Alexander Lukashenko expressed hope that the current visit would promote cooperation of Belarus not only with Novosibirsk Oblast but with the Russian Federation in general.