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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed decree No.239 on measures to implement the Digital Economy Development Ordinance on 18 June. The document is designed to bring a number of legal acts into compliance with the Digital Economy Development Ordinance signed by the head of state on 21 December 2017, the press service of the Belarusian leader told BelTA.

In particular, the charter of the Minsk-based Hi-Tech Park will be expanded with provisions, which implementation will help provide the manpower the national economy needs in the sphere of information and communication technologies. The expansion will also contribute to the development of education and the promotion of new promising projects (startups).

The Hi-Tech Park administration will also be empowered to submit draft legislation on the operation of the park to the central government. The park's supervisory board will be able to determine criteria for selecting candidate resident companies, business projects, and procedures for implementing them.

As many as 34 new projects and six measures to develop innovative infrastructure have been included into Belarus' state program on innovative development for the 2016-2020 period. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has signed relevant decree No.236, BelTA has learned.

The new projects include the creation of modern enterprises to make electric car charging infrastructure components, the target practice complex Vertushka 2 and the unmanned aerial complex Feniks, LED-powered lighting equipment, the organization of production of innovative analysis and inspection complexes, special-use and dual-use optical and mechanical products, and the creation of a full-cycle high-technology agribusiness enterprise.

The decree authorizes using money of innovation funds for financing projects of backbone companies such as the Orsha instrument plant, Belshina, Brest Electric Lamp Plant, and Vityas.

The Communications and Informatization Ministry has been included into the list of customers of the program for the sake of stepping up digital transformation efforts.

The development of high-technology sectors has been expanded to include additive technologies, instrument making, electronic industry, and robot technology, electric transport and its infrastructure.

The decree is expected to encourage innovative activities in economy branches and regions of the country. It will help accelerate the development of innovative infrastructure subjects. It will allow using the necessary resources for establishing new high-technology manufacturing enterprises.

The relations with Uzbekistan are increasingly vibrant, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Speaker of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis Nigmatilla Yuldoshev on 13 June, BelTA has learned.

“Within a year or maybe a bit more, if we speak about the new era as I often describe it to my friend Shavkat (Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. – BelTA's note), we have made even more progress that there was in the past 20 years. And I have made a minimum contribution to it. This is the achievement of your president. He is a smart and talented person who saw the whole world as the prime minister, evaluated the situation not only along the Minsk-Tashkent axis but also in other directions, and did a lot to ensure progress,” the head of state said. “I told him about it at the SCO summit. It seems to me that other countries in the world and especially post-Soviet states did not manage to do what you have done in international relations having put them on the rails of the economy. You have done great progress over these years. You have opened your country to the whole world and got maximum benefits form it.”

Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that the main achievements of Uzbekistan are in the economy. “Diplomacy, politics are good things. It is always good to talk. But it is much more important to have tangible results. And you have made it. This is the greatest achievement of your government. The relations between Belarus and Uzbekistan testify to the breakthrough of Uzbekistan on the international arena and in international relations,” the President remarked.

The head of state spoke in positive terms about the development of bilateral relations and fulfillment of plans. The leaders previously agreed that the sides should advance their cooperation before the presidents' meeting within the framework of the official visit.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that, of course, there are enough problems in any state. However, he is convinced that Uzbekistan will manage to overcome acute problems within five years because the country has a big human potential, good climatic conditions and is doing its best to modernize the economy and the society.

“But you should remember that we are not outside observers of these processes. Of course, we are happy for your achievements. We are active supporters and, if you want, can be the driving force for the progress in Uzbekistan. You can count on us,” the Belarusian leader assured.

Nigmatilla Yuldoshev, in turn, stressed that people in Uzbekistan respect the Belarusian president very much and are happy for the country's achievements and its growing international authority. “We know and appreciate that you have paid and are paying much attention to the development of cooperation between our countries and nations. Besides, we will always remember that in the moment of deep sorrow for our nation you visited Uzbekistan to pay tribute to our first President Islam Karimov,” he said.

The legal framework of Belarus-Uzbekistan relations includes almost 60 agreements. The sides vigorously cooperate in the United Nations format, the OSCE and other international organizations. The bilateral cooperation is increasingly vibrant.

In 2017, the bilateral trade more than doubled over the level of 2016 to reach $130.9 million. The export made up $96.1 million (268.2%), the import totaled $34.8 million (124.7%). The same tendency can be seen in 2018. In January-April the countries' trade turnover went up 2.3 times over the same period of 2017 to $62.1 million. The trade in services made up $9.2 million.

In 2018, Belarus exported tractors and tractor units, car and tractor parts, sugar, chassis and engines, fiberboards, timber, specialized and agricultural vehicles, road construction equipment. Belarus' major exports were cotton yarn, dried fruit, cars, juices, etc.

Twenty-three companies with Belarusian founders have been registered in Uzbekistan. Assembly plants for Belarusian equipment Amkodor-Agrotekhmash and UzBelAgromash were set up on the territory of Uzbekistan in 2017. There are 62 organizations founded by Uzbekistani legal entities and individuals in Belarus.

Belarus and India should work more actively on expanding economic relations, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, on 12 June, BelTA has learned.

“Taking into consideration our common stance on the international agenda, mutual support at international organizations, first of all, at the United Nations, we need to act more decisively and actively in promoting economic relations, investment and so on,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that on the sidelines of the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in China he met with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the bilateral relations. The parties outlined promising areas of cooperation. “We talked a lot about Belarus-India relations,” the president added.

The visit of Sumitra Mahajan to Belarus testifies to the commitment of the leadership of the two countries to strengthen the relations, Alexander Lukashenko underlined. “We would like these political contacts to rely on a very strong trade and economic foundation. We have everything in place to move away from conventional trade (this is also important, of course) to joint investment and joint ventures both in India and Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Earlier Belarus had invited India to establish a joint industrial park to manufacture high-tech goods following the model of cooperation with China. In addition, the country offers its transportation and logistics capabilities to transport Indian goods to the regions of the EU and the EAEU. "The proposals remain valid. I know that your country welcomed them. We would like to proceed to the park construction in Belarus more quickly,” the head of state noted.

“Bearing in mind the role of the Parliament in India, I would like to ask you to take cooperation with Belarus, especially in the field of investment, under serious control,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Indian parliamentary delegation is on a visit to Belarus on 9-13 June. Sumitra Mahajan has already held meetings with Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich and Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko.

The Indian MPs are scheduled to tour Minsk Tractor Works, the Hi-Tech Park and the India-Belarus Digital Learning Center in ICT, the National Library and the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.

The delegation is to meet with representatives of the Indian diaspora living in Belarus.

India is Belarus' biggest and most promising trading partner in South Asia. In 2017 the bilateral trade exceeded $455 million, up by nearly 12%. Belarus has a trade surplus of $161 million.

In January-March the Belarusian export amounted to $95 million, up by 39.2% over the same period a year before. Belarus' major exports to India are potash fertilizers, chemical products and processed leather.

After Alexander Lukashenko's visit to India in September last year, the two countries agreed to localize the production of Belarus' major machine-building brands in India, to set up Belarusian equipment demonstration centers and vocational training centers, to ramp up the production of drugs in Belarus using the Indian technology, to boost bilateral trade and expand cooperation in the services sector.

Belarus and India also agreed to discuss the use of the Indian credit line of $100 million to set up enterprises in the special economic zone Bremino-Orsha. In June, a delegation of investors visited Belarus, including this site.

Belarus will be strong if China is strong, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said during talks with China's President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao on 10 June, BelTA has learnt.

“We are very glad that we lend each other unconditional support in any situation. We never look back for reaction and opinion of others when it comes to independence and sovereignty of the states. I am convinced that if China is strong, Belarus will also be strong, as our country is your reliable partner,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

The Belarusian leader congratulated China on the completion of its presidency in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and noted that the summit can be called a landmark event.

“It is an example of how international meetings should be held. This is an example of order, discipline and efficiency, as everyone heard each other and everyone was given a say and could give their feedback. This differs dramatically from other international organizations. The SCO is China's brainchild. The international reputation this organization has earned is a testimony to the increasing role of your country in the world. Being your sincere friend, we will provide all possible support to this organization and all the developments within it,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

China's President Xi Jinping pointed to Belarus' active participation in the summits of the SCO. He emphasized China's commitment to being a reliable friend and partner for Belarus. “We are ready to align our development with Belarus' development,” Xi Jinping noted.

He remembered his first meeting with Alexander Lukashenko. “We felt like we had known each other for a long time. We try to synchronize our efforts to promote our relations and try to be on the same page in the areas of mutual interest. We keep working to give a new impetus to bilateral cooperation. I am ready to keep it up,” the Chinese leader said.

When appointing Yuri Tertel the head of the State Inspectorate on Wildlife Protection under the President of Belarus, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko demanded to impose strict order in this agency, BelTA has learned.

“Your task is to get to know the personnel to bring order to the inspectorate and sort things out in animal and plant protection," the president said.

“There will be a lot of speculations that Lukashenko returned to the policy of appointing military to civilian organizations. I am not afraid of this. But you should be ready for this. More so, I would not say that the state inspectorate is a civilian organization. With the vision that I have for it, this organization is more of a military type,” the head of state noted.

The president said that this state agency was set up on his initiative and on the basis of certain agencies using their personnel in order to save budget money and does not inflate the numbers of people in uniform. “Nature is our main asset. God gave us beautiful nature. This gift, however, cannot last forever if treated badly. We need to preserve it and take care of it. This inspectorate was set up with exactly these goals in mind,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

He added that the inspectorate workers have started forgetting about their primary duties. “In an attempt to combat offenders and poachers, some of them became poachers themselves. Therefore, I had to fire a number of people from their posts in the inspectorate and instructed to find a well-disciplined, military man,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko added that the State Inspectorate on Wildlife Protection under the President is a special agency, some of its staff are armed. “This means it is a paramilitary unit, and any lack of discipline is inadmissible. I hope you will bring order to the system,” the Belarusian leader said.

Yuri Tertel was born in 1967 in the village of Privalki, Grodno District . After military service in the Soviet army, he attended the Bryansk special police school at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and served in the Ministry of Internal Affairs until 2002. In 1996, he graduated from the Academy of the Interior Ministry of Belarus.

In 2002-2009 Yuri Tertel held different posts in military unit 1250 of the Belarusian border services.

From January 2009 to 2018 Yuri Tertel served as commander of military unit 1250.

Yuri Tertel was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland 3rd Class, medals for the Excellence in the Protection of the State Border and Honorable Services of the 3rd and 2nd Class.

A meeting of the Presidents of Belarus and Mongolia, Alexander Lukashenko and Khaltmaagiin Battulga, may take place in the coming days in Qingdao, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Damdin Tsogtbaatar said after the talks with Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei in Minsk on 4 June, BelTA has learned.

For his part, Vladimir Makei said that the agenda of the meeting of the presidents on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit may include the issues regarding the development of political dialogue, trade and economic cooperation. According to Vladimir Makei, the presidents may also raise other themes, for example for humanitarian cooperation. He noted that only five students from Mongolia are currently studying in Belarus, which, of course, very few.

Belarus and Mongolia are working on a number of bilateral documents that can be signed in the future, Vladimir Makei noted.

It is necessary to significantly increase support for families with children. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he talked to border service specialists and their families during the visit to the border guard station Divin in Kobrin District, Brest Oblast on 1 June, BelTA has learned.

The head of state spoke in favor of preserving and expanding the spectrum of support and preferences given to families with children. In particular, he noted that there are no plans to reduce the length of the maternity leave for parents of children under three although the maternity leave for such a long time is not available even in many developed nations. “We can handle it for now. But I think the other preferences for giving birth to the third child should be large. Very large. An apartment… Even larger preferences for the fourth one… And unprecedented preferences for the fifth one. I am already starting to implement it little by little,” said the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko explained that Belarusian families usually have one or two kids, this is why most of the support should be channeled into increasing this number. “This is why we are going to offer strong incentives,” he said.

The president noted that Belarusian families with kids are offered considerable preferences as it is when compared to other countries. At the same time the country is experiencing a demographic problem, this is why it is necessary to preserve and enhance the available incentives.

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