Alexander Drozdenko, the Governor of Russia’s Leningrad Oblast, paid a visit to Minsk, Belarus, last week. During the meeting, Mr Drozdenko and President Alexander Lukashenko tried to find new spheres for collaboration. Leningrad Oblast is particularly interested in Belarusian, machinery in seed industry and selective breeding.
You are going to increase goods turnover between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast. How can we do that?
Alexander Drozdenko, Governor of Leningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation:
First of all, I’d like to say that we had a record goods turnover of $500 million last year. Our aim was to increase it up to $700 millionthree years after. Unfortunately, the exchange rate difference intervened into our plans. However, the number of the supplied goods hasn’t become less but even managed to grow.
We believe there’s a great chance to increase the goods turnover. This difficult situation helped us see the things in a different way. For example, we started to define the price of a product more precisely.
Thus we see that Belarusian goods, technologies, products have a very good, suitable cost-quality ratio. I was impressed by the logging technologies. Leningrad Oblast is one of the leaders in this sphere in Russia. We use expensive Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian machines. Belarus makes such machines at a more affordable price. Though it’s still quite high, the cost-quality ratio plays in Belarus’ favour. The same situation can be observed in many other spheres.
I’ve heard that you are going to use elevators made in Mogilev in a renovation program…
In the housing stock renovation. The payments for major repairs in Leningrad Oblast comprise 1 billion roubles. During this process, the building is completely repaired. If necessary, the elevator is replaced.
Moreover, elevators made in Mogilev are updated in Saint Petersburg according to the specific needs of a building.
We have installed 23 Mogilev elevators this year and we need dozens and hundreds more. It’s a good problem to discuss.
Is there any feedback on these elevators? What do people say?
I should say, the feedback is absolutely positive, the elevators are of high quality. People haven’t complained either. However, Belarusian elevators have just been installed. We hope that the maintenance service in St. Petersburg will manage to do all the repairs. Five years ago, we wanted our agricultural enterprises to accustom to Belarusian tractors. Their heads continued to buy more expensive tractors made in other countries because Belarus didn’t produce large tractors. Now there’s a complete product line of Belarusian tractors. More than 50% of tractors in Leningrad Oblast were made in Belarus and we’re going to increase this number. The next step to make is to provide substantial service for these tractors, especially during the periods of intensive work. There shouldn’t be any in delay in repair. That’s why it’s important to have highly professional service centers.