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Belarus President: New stage begins in my life

President Alexander Lukashenko met with First Deputy Chairman of the National Council of Austria, Karl-Heinz Kopf, to discuss the development of economy. Representatives of the official Vienna and heads of large companies are currently on their visit in Minsk. Many of them took part in the modernization of Belarusian enterprises.

Among the EU countries Austria is the largest investor in the real sector of Belarus. Austrian business says business climate in our country is suitable. Since 2014, official contacts have intensified.

Alexander Lukashenko:
A new stage begins in my life and, perhaps, of our society as a whole. Our meeting with you is not accidental. In my memory after the first presidential elections there are still topics of meetings related to relationship with Austria. And it seemed to me then that the West had somehow distributed country assignments in the post-Soviet space, and we got this high-tech Austria, the nation which has some similar features with ours. One of the first enterprises I visited was the BMZ, which we had built with you. This is one of our best businesses today and you are constantly improving and modernizing it. So, perhaps, our meeting here is no coincidence since we are improving our relations with the European Union and individual EU countries. We are holding events related to economic cooperation: on the one hand representatives Eurasian Economic Union, on the other - European Union and Austria is on its behalf. Austria is not a stranger to us.
We must open a new stage of development based on the experience we have. 
We are very grateful for investment and other related support during the modernization of our enterprises. With great pleasure we will welcome Austrian business in Belarus. There is only one requirement I would ask you to comply with: treat our people in Belarus as your people in Austria. So that we understand that you are actually our companies. We will protect you just like our own enterprises. You will not be strangers to us. Austrian business should exercise the same respectable attitude towards our state and people.

Karlheinz Kopf:
Our meeting is not a coincidence or a good luck. Last Sunday you won a landslide victory in the presidential election. Yesterday, the EU took the first step towards the lifting of sanctions. I am sure that this will be followed by the next steps in our relations, indeed, it will open a new page. We have entered a new era. I am glad that Austria has traditionally played an important role in establishing contacts between Belarus and the EU in reducing tensions.

Businessmen from Vienna today arrived in Minsk to take part in the Austrian-Belarusian-Russian business forum. According to its results the sides expect to sign several major contracts in energy and engineering. It is the second time business consultations in such a format have been held. The tripartite dialogue started last year in Vienna.

Belarus, Austria open new page in relations