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Belarus-France mechanical engineering cooperation prospects discussed

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) – Prospects of Belarusian-French cooperation in mechanical engineering were discussed at a meeting of Belarusian First Deputy Industry Minister Mr Ivan Demidovich and Mr Benjamin Gallezot, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate for Competition, Industry, and Services of the Industrial Renewal Ministry of France, representatives of the Embassy of Belarus in France told BelTA,

The meeting took place as part of the visit of the Belarusian delegation to France. Led by Ivan Demidovich, the delegation was in France on 24-28 February. The sides discussed prospects of setting up joint ventures to make agricultural machines. Benjamin Gallezot promised the Ministry will render aid in establishing contacts between relevant companies of France and Belarus for the sake of working in this area.

Ivan Demidovich informed the French side about the participation of Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ) in the international agribusiness salon Sima 2013, the launch of cooperation between MTZ and the French company Podia with a view to promoting Belarusian tractors to the French market, and also invited Benjamin Gallezot to visit the international specialized expo Belagro 2013 that will take place in Minsk in June.

While in France the Belarusian delegation also held meetings in the Agriculture Ministry, negotiations with representatives of the Association for International Cooperation in Agriculture (ADEPTA), the professional association of manufacturers and importers of agricultural machines AXEMA, and the national federation of farmers FNSEA. The Belarusian delegation also visited the AGCO factory, the country’s largest enterprise that manufactures tractors. The sides discussed Belarusian-French cooperation at the meetings.

The Belarusian delegation included top executives of Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ trademark), OAO Bobruiskagromash, OAO Lidselmash, Bobruisk Plant of Tractor Parts and Units. Representatives of 11 agricultural enterprises also came to attend Sima 2013 under the aegis of the Minsk branch of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sima 2013 is one of the world’s largest expos featuring the latest novelties and achievements in agriculture and mechanical engineering. Held once every two years, it showcases agricultural machines, animal husbandry, crop husbandry, irrigation, renewable energy, and agriculture services. This year’s expo gathered over 1,700 companies from 40 countries.

The Belarusian booth featured a model range of seven Belarus tractors. The booth attracted a huge number of foreign visitors. The booth was organized by the industrial group Minsk Tractor Works in association with the French company Podia and with assistance of the Embassy of Belarus in France. In Paris Belarus displayed tractors, which capacity varied from 36hp to 350hp to suit different markets. Buyers from various countries showed a live interest in them.

Ivan Demidovich told BelTA that Belarusian agricultural machines were exported to France in the Soviet times. About 11,000 tractors were sold back then and many of them are still operational. It was also mentioned by French farmers, who visited the expo. The farmers were pleased with Belarusian tractors although they are old now.

The French market looks rather promising for resuming Belarusian agricultural machinery export — the annual foreign purchases of tractors reach 35,000. Minsk Tractor Works in association with the French company Podia intends to start selling tractors to France. The French side positively evaluates prospects of the arrival of MTZ tractors on the markets of France, Belgium, and Luxemburg.