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Friday, 02 August 2019 11:25

From dairies to IT: Belarus names prospects for cooperation with Uzbekistan

From dairies to IT: Belarus names prospects for cooperation with Uzbekistan

Strengthening trade and economic ties is the number one goal in Belarus-Uzbekistan relations, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with his Uzbekistan counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev on 1 August, BelTA has learned.

“The main goal is to strengthen trade and economic ties. Over the years of its independence, Uzbekistan has made considerable progress in diversifying national economy, developing new sectors such as mechanical engineering, petrochemistry, manufacturing of farm machinery. Belarus is ready to expand economic cooperation with Uzbekistan, including through joint investment projects,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the Belarusian head of state, the trade has increased significantly in the recent years. The countries' potential in the area, however, is still hugely untapped. “We can considerably increase mutual trade. Moreover, we think that our trade is some $200 million. However, if we count mediators, it will be almost $500 million, up more than two times. We need to bring order into the issue. This pertains both to Belarusian sales and supplies from your country. The demand for Uzbekistan's cotton fiber, yarn, fruit and other countries is very high in our country,” he stressed.

During the Belarusian president's visit to Uzbekistan in 2018, the parties agreed to set up several dairies with the help of Belarusian design and construction companies. There are plans to fit them with Belarusian equipment. So far, only one joint company has been set up in Tashkent Oblast, cofounded with Zdravushka Milk.

“We need to complete these three projects and build milk processing companies to sell not only within Uzbekistan but also to its neighbors, including Afghanistan. Perhaps we have some problems with financing these projects. Here, we also need to take a look at these projects. I think Shavkat Miromonovich [Mirziyoyev] you will also discuss these issues after the visit. We have already prepared the schedule plan for the delivery of 1,500 head of cattle to Uzbekistan in 2019-2020. We will depend neither on Hungary nor Europe. We will build these complexes and deliver cattle so that you knew whom to hold accountable,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president hailed vibrant cooperation in pharmaceutics. The parties are implementing three joint projects in Uzbekistan to produce dialysis sets to treat patients with renal insufficiencies, antibiotics and also antiseptic and sterilizing agents. Talks are underway to set up a united production platform of Belpharmprom Holding Company in Uzbekistan.

Light industry is another promising venue of cooperation. Belarus purchases large amounts of cotton yarn, knit fabric and apparel from Uzbekistan. “Belarusian companies can also export artificial fabric, knitwear, lingerie and hosiery. Our factories supply the law-enforcement bodies of the CIS member states with fabric and haberdashery. We seek closer cooperation with Uzbekistan,” the president said. He cited the production of footwear and sheepskin by Marko Holding Company in Uzbekistan as a good example.

Aleksandr Lukashenko named IT sector as a promising area of cooperation. He said that Belarus has been successfully developing information systems in areas such as public management, transport, financing and credit. Domestic companies have proved their competitive worth on the world market. “We suggest implementing projects in Uzbekistan to introduce an automated gas recording system with the Belarusian software and utility meters, upgrade and automate gas distribution and gas transportation networks. If these projects are okayed, we are ready to start working on them,” the head of state said.

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