Ulyanovsk Region Continues Developing Trade and Economic Cooperation with the Republic of Belarus
The third meeting of the working group chaired by Alexander Smekalin (Chairman of the regional Government) was held via videoconference on 8 July.
Alexander Smekalin said, “In recent years, we have made major progress in implementation of joint projects. The Ulyanovsk region's foreign trade turnover with the Republic of Belarus made US$ 33.5 million in the first quarter of 2020. The main export areas are automotive, machine tool and metalworking products, as well as IT technologies. We are very proud a Belarusian company was able to implement its investment project in Dimitrovgrad. We are ready to cooperate with Belarus in the field of nuclear medicine, as well as to ensure interactions between Belarusian business and participants of the regional nuclear innovation cluster. Today, Test-Gen provides medical establishments under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus with testing kits used to determine sex and Rh factor of embryos and for DNA extraction.”
On 7 September 2005, an agreement was signed between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Ulyanovsk Region on trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation. An action plan for 2018-2020 years is currently in force. A review of Ulyanovsk manufacturers' competitiveness revealed that such goods as automotive components, radiopharmaceuticals and petroleum products can be exported to Belarus.
“First of all, we would like to congratulate Ulyanovsk on receiving the honorary title "City of Labor Valor". We know that the achievements of Ulyanovsk people are confirmed by numerous archive materials. We also want to thank the government of the Ulyanovsk region for their cooperation. The working group has proved to be a good form of interaction and became an effective tool for partnership development, as well as an important element in interactions between the business community and the authorities of both countries," - said Yury Trushchenko, Chairman of Belarusian side of the working group and Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee.
Participants of the meeting discussed the outcomes and prepared a plan for trade and economic cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the region. They also talked about implementation of measures for 2018-2020 under the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Ulyanovsk Region.
According to Mikhail Semenkin, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Agro-Industrial Complex and Rural Development of Ulyanovsk Region, the Republic of Belarus is the Ulyanovsk region's main supplier of agricultural machinery. He said, “In total, our farmers own 17,296 units of agricultural equipment; 1,817 of them (10.5% of the total number) are harvesters and tractors made by the Republic of Belarus. Minsk Tractor Works manufactured 1,663 tractors. Official dealers of the Republic's agricultural machinery in the region always take part in field-specific exhibitions. Trade and economic relations are developing thanks to agricultural products. At the end of 2019, the Ulyanovsk region's export of agricultural goods to Belarus made US$ 490 thousand and increased by eight percent, which is by US$ 38 thousand more compared to 2018.”
The regional Ministry of Agriculture has put forward several proposals for cooperation with the Republic of Belarus. These include establishment of a dealer network in the region for agricultural and road machinery made by OAO "AMKODOR" and an interregional warehouse with spare parts for harvesters manufactured by OAO "Gomselmash", as well as training specialists of agro-industrial enterprises of the Ulyanovsk region in how to use agricultural machinery made in Belarus. In addition, it is planned to organize study tours for representatives of these enterprises and peasant farm holdings to production facilities of OAO "Gomselmash".
In addition, the regional Ministry of Agriculture takes part in activities held by the Republic of Belarus on a regular basis. One of the last events was a virtual online exhibition of Belarusian manufacturers called "Made in Belarus #AgroFood".
Igor Ryabikov, Executive Director of Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation, talked about prospects for development of the bilateral partnership. He said, “We are actively interacting with partners from Belarus in the sphere of investment activities. In the region, a Dimitrovgrad industrial park "Master" has already implemented the first stage of an investment project by the Belarusian company "Polesie", which involves production of plastic toys. About 150 jobs have been created for residents of the region, and in the future, this number should increase to 300. This year, the company wants to expand its production facility by additional 28 thousand square meters. It is estimated that investments will make more than 500 million rubles. In addition, we exchange experience in attracting investors and developing investment infrastructure. The most promising sectors for cooperation with Belarusian businesses today are agriculture and food processing, the light industry and projects of small and medium-sized enterprises.”