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From art to education and gastronomy: What attracts French businessmen in Minsk

Belarus and France are thinking about cooperation more seriously than ever. This week, Minsk hosted a business forum, which main topics were culture and gastronomy.

Representative of a company:
Here we see frame walls to be sent to France, from which a kindergarten will be built.

These houses are only the foundation for the pillars of new trade and economic bridges between Minsk and Paris. Ecological panels are assembled easily and are inexpensive. The French 'bourgeoisie' have tested all the advantages of Belarus houses over these four years, and they came to their taste.

Luke, design bureau Longibat (France):
Today we want to become leaders in the production houses that are now making. Belarus does have good potential. We've been working with your country for three years.

A delegation of businessmen that arrived in Minsk from Lyon are in the same spirit. After a tour of Belarusian fields by Mr Depardieu, business circles of France would like to cooperate with Belarus in agriculture and strengthen ties in the textile industry, the energy sector, providing legal and consulting services.

Zhanna Birich, Deputy Chairwoman of the Minsk City Executive Committee:
There are real opportunities to attract investors, to create a number of businesses that could cooperate in various sectors. The trade turnover between Minsk and France is $86 million. This is a small amount, but we have a lot more opportunities.

Trade contracts need to be strengthened and investment projects stepped up. This was negotiated at bilateral meetings between potential partners of France and Belarus. That is the purpose of the joint Belarusian-French economic development commission.

Pavel Latushko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the French Republic and the Portuguese Republic:
We chose the development of inter-regional contacts as one of the priorities in our development. Over the last four years, the embassy of Belarus in France has held 35 presentations of Belarusian economy, investment opportunities of cooperation with Belarus almost in all the regions of France.

Mutual interest between Minsk and Lyon has existed for 40 years.

Cyril is the chef of one of the leading institutions in the world of culinary arts.

Cyril, chef of Paul Bocuse Institute, holder of two Michelin stars:
Minsk met me with snow and frost, but your people are very warm. But most importantly, your chefs are skillful. Therefore, I would like to come back here, to spend more time here. I am looking forward to our next meeting.

From culinary masterpieces to painting. French charm reigned in Minsk at the opening of 30 paintings of the famous salon Art Capital. Many come to Paris only in order to see this Art Nouveau gallery. The exhibition from Paris will remain in Minsk until 31 December.

Artist (France):
It is the first time I have been in Belarus. The first thing that struck me was white snow. It's like a fairytale. I read about the history of your country and your artists. You have an excellent art school.

The descendants of Voltaire were also admired by the Belarusian school of pedagogy. Now the best Belarusian university students may go to study in France.

Alain Mougniot, Rector of the Higher School of Teaching Staff and Education of the Academy of Lyon (France):
We have already established a dialogue with Serbia and Russia. We would also like to establish fruitful cooperation with the Belarusian university. I'm hoping for big projects in the future.

From art to education and gastronomy: What attracts French businessmen in Minsk