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Belarus ready to bolster trade relations with Krasnodar

MINSK, 5 June (BelTA) - Belarus is prepared to increase supplies to Krasnodar region of a wide range of engineering and farm products, consumer and other goods that will be in demand in the market of the region, Belarusian Vice Prime Minister Anatoly Kalinin announced during a meeting of the joint working group on cooperation between Belarus and Krasnodar Region on 4 June, BelTA learned.

Anatoly Kalinin said that Krasnodar Region is a longstanding partner of Belarus. In 2012, the parties had a record high trade of $452 million, twice the level of the pre-crisis year of 2008.

“Now it is important not to stop at that and make advantage of the momentum in bilateral trade. In January-April of this year, there was a slight decrease in mutual trade,” said the Vice Premier.

According to the Vice Premier, Belarus’ major exports to that Russian region are tractors, tires, dairy products, consumer goods. In turn, the country imports from Krasnodar sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, rice, vegetables. According to Anatoly Kalinin, "Belarus is prepared to increase supplies of a wide range of engineering and farm products, consumer goods and many other things that will be in demand in the market of this region.”

Speaking about bilateral cooperation, the Vice Premier noted that the Single Economic Space is creating favorable conditions for the implementation of Belarus-Krasnodar joint projects in forestry, industrial cooperation, R&D. "At this stage it is important to strengthen the existing partnership between our economic entities, to bolster cooperation in all fields of mutual interest," he said.

Anatoly Kalinin also noted that Belarus is ready to take an active part in the development of the agriculture cluster in Krasnodar Region. Very promising is the project to build a facility to assemble combine harvesters Polesye (Gomselmash brand) in Ust-Labinsk District. An important project that requires support from both parties is the setting up of a joint venture "Slavic Alliance” which will act as the general contractor in the design and construction of facilities on the territory of Krasnodar Region,” added Belarusian Vice Premier.

For his part, Vice Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnodar Region of the Russian Federation Evgeny Gromyko pointed out that Belarus is traditionally among the five top partners of the region in terms of trade and economic relations.

Relations between the two sides have been increasingly vibrant lately, said Evgeny Gromyko. The most important thing now, in his view, is to maintain cooperation between municipal entities. “Kuban used to lag behind other regions of the Russian Federation in this regard. Today eight municipalities have already signed cooperation agreements, two more are in the pipeline.”

One of the most important areas of cooperation, according to the Vice Chairman of the Legislative Assembly, is the development of tourist business. This area is underdeveloped in our relations. We need to bolster the cooperation on this front,” he said. According to Evgeny Gromyko, Krasnodar Region has started to take interest in such areas of cooperation as construction, architecture, infrastructure and logistics.

In conclusion, Evgeny Gromyko said that Belarus and Krasnodar Region have great prospects for cooperation. "Complementing each other, we could make a serious leap forward through, among other things, the advantages that give us the membership in the Customs Union," he said.

The Vice Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnodar Region also asked the Vice-Premier to convey to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian Government and people the gratitude for the assistance and support that Belarus provided to the region after the flooding tragedy in Krymsk in 2012.