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Belarus President underlines importance of trade with Russian regions

Belarus and the Irkutsk region have to find reserves to increase mutual trade, said President Alexander Lukashenko meeting with the governor of the Russian region, Sergei Levchenko.

The turnover in 2016 decreased, especially against the background of a record 2015. However, there are all prerequisites to catch up.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
We are ready to work with you, together with the Siberians, the people who live there. If we learned something more, we will, with great pleasure, give this experience to you, as do in all directions, in all contacts with Russian people. In short, there are a lot of plans, ideas. We are competitive.

The most important thing for the current situation is that we are competitive as compared to any of your enterprises in Russia, including in terms of prices.

I emphasize again: our companies are manageable. Of course, they do not work at a loss, they see their profits. There are other figures there, in contrast to private traders, who, unfortunately, see only profit. Everything else is of little interest to them. Therefore, you are welcome in Belarus.

Sergei Levchenko, governor of the Irkutsk region of the Russian Federation:
This year, we will increase twofold deliveries from your MAZ to the Irkutsk region. Even more than twofold. I hope that these are the same pieces of machinery your colleagues showed us yesterday: municipal vehicles, buses, and ordinary trucks. We will need a lot of them, since your machinery running on gas is of a very high quality.

By the way, the lion's share of Irkutsk tractors are those same old MTZ tractors, once bought in Belarus. Irkutsk farmers are interested in the creation of a joint assembly plant.

Alexander Lukashenko:
It would not be so serious if we criticized ourselves. But I hear criticism from abroad: in the Eurasian Economic Union, the countries recorded a decline in trade of 38% last year. This year, it will fall somewhere 20%. This not normal.

We do understand that this is not normal, and others begin to question our integration association. Therefore, the growth of trade with you mean the growth of trade between Belarus and Russia. We are ready for this.

Irkutsk region is one of the leading Russian regions in terms of mining. Belarusina BelAZ trucks could be used there. MAZ offers passenger buses running on gas and the most flexible financial schemes. Governor Levchenko visited these very enterprises after landing at the airport. Then he went to another machine building giant Amkodor.

Forestry equipment is another point of interest.

Irkutsk region is fabulously rich in wood. Cheap energy of Siberian rivers and endless forests is the basis of successful wood processing.

Yevgeny Kosinov, first deputy director of a marketing center of Amkodor:
A number of forest machines are already working in the Irkutsk region. And today representatives of our distribution network are in talks to supply these vehicles.

Alexander Kovalev, Director of Amkodor-Krasnoyarsk (Russia):
To date, we have the most competitive equipment. It is two times cheaper, it is adapted to our operator, it can cover long distances.

Joint furniture production with Belarus is another hot topic.

Sergei Levchenko, governor of the Irkutsk region of the Russian Federation:
We have the largest allowable cut: we cut 34 million cubic meters per year. But we would like to process it all on the spot but the deepest processing should be in Belarus. Belarus has enterprises for deep processing of wood, starting with furniture.

Andrei Kobyakov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
Direct communications with the Russian Federation, direct trade and economic, cultural and any other social relations is the foundation of relations between Belarus and the Russian Federation.

On December 6, the sides signed a cooperation agreement between the governments of Belarus and the Irkutsk region.

Regions play a very important role in the development of trade between Belarus and Russia. Belarus has active economic ties with about 80 regions and republics of Russia. That is why governors are frequent visitors to Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko: Growth of trade with Irkutsk region is the growth of trade with Russia