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13 November 2014

Mogilev Oblast, Czechia's Ustecky Kraj to ink cooperation memorandum

MOGILEV, 13 November (BelTA) – Mogilev Oblast of Belarus and Ustecky Kraj of the Czech Republic are ready to sign a cooperation memorandum. Chairman of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee Piotr Rudnik handed over the document to Ustecky Kraj Governor Oldrich Bubenicek on 12 November, BelTA has learned.

The Czech delegation includes representatives of the chamber of commerce and industry, the council for culture and monuments preservation, and the department for external and international relations at the Ustecky Kraj administration. The present visit of the Czech delegation was organized following the first official visit of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Belarus Milan Ekert to Mogilev Oblast in April 2014 when he suggested establishing partnership ties between the Belarusian region and one of the 13 regions of the Czech Republic. In the result of the joint work of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, and the embassies of both countries, Ustecky Kraj was chosen as a cooperation partner.
The volume of trade between Mogilev Oblast and the Czech Republic is increasing, Piotr Rudnik noted. For example, last year it went up by 46.4% as against the previous year to reach $30.2 million. In January-August 2014 the export of Mogilev Oblast to the Czech Republic surged by 83.6% as against the same period of 2013 to reach $8.7 million, while the import fell down to 81.1% of the previous level and totaled $13.7 million. Belarus' major exports included soft roofing materials, newsprint paper in reels, nonwoven fabrics, animal and vegetable fats and oils, napkins, paper towels, iron powders and grains, rape oil, and raw flax. Belarus mainly imported constructions from ferrous metals, propylene polymers, trailers and semitrailers, turning lathes, cleaning substances, pipes, hosepipes, beer, malt, medicines, and wires. The bilateral cooperation between the regions has a significant potential. The visit of the Czech delegation to Mogilev Oblast is expected to give an impetus to further development of the mutually beneficial cooperation.

For his part, Oldrich Bubenicek emphasized that it was thoughtless of the Czech manufactures to abandon the Eastern markets in 1990s. Today it is difficult for them to restore those ties as the niches were already occupied by the Western European companies. The Ustecky Kraj Governor believes that the measures to increase the mutual trade should be thoroughly elaborated as there are some promising projects. He noted that the Czech people do not know much about Belarus. This is why it is important to organize exchanges of delegations, including delegations of young people, in order to explore the potential of the two regions. “We visited the historical sites, shopping malls and entertainment facilities of Mogilev and realized that the Belarusian cities are not like we imagined them before. The people are calm and friendly. The transport is comfortable, and the shops offer a wide range of national and foreign goods,” Oldrich Bubenicek noted.

The heads of the Belarusian and the Czech regions also expressed mutual desire to develop cooperation in the field of manufacturing industry. Oldrich Bubenicek said that a delegation of Mogilev Oblast should visit Ustecky Kraj to see the potential of the region. The Czech delegation is visiting the major enterprises of Mogilev Oblast, including OAO Babushkina Krynka and OAO Mogilevkhimvolokno.

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