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Volga Federal District, Belarus to boost cooperation in innovation

The Volga Federal District intends to expand cooperation with Belarus in the innovation area, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District Grigory Rapota told media on 2 December.

Grigory Rapota noted that during the visit of the economic mission of the Volga Federal District of the Russian Federation to Minsk, every delegation brought its investment projects. “We have a big catalogue of investment proposals. They are mainly related to high technology manufactures,” he said.

For instance, blood plasma production with the use of cutting-edge technologies will be soon launched in the Kirov oblast. The company will be working to satisfy Russia’s demand in blood plasma. “No doubt the cooperation with Belarus will high on the agenda,” Grigory Rapota said. In his words, the Volga Federal District has been fruitfully cooperating with Belarus in the production of mineral potash fertilizers. “We have bigger deposits of minerals and our producers are ready to expand the area of activity,” he stressed. Petrochemistry is one of the promising areas of cooperation. As for timber processing, according to Grigory Rapota, joint ventures can be set up both in Russia and Belarus. Machine-building is a traditional area of cooperation. Once the single economic area created the sides would be more interested in developing cooperation in this area, he is confident.

The Volga Federal District is one of Belarus’ main trading partners among the Russian federal districts and ranks third in Belarus’ trade with Russia. Since 2005 the mutual trade has increased more than two and a half times to reach a record high of RUB132 billion ($4.4 billion) in 2008. In January-September 2009 the trade between Belarus and the Volga Federal District totaled $1877.5 million, down 48.5% over the same period in 2008. The export reached $543.3 million, down 52.6%, the import made up $1334.2 million, down 46.6%. Belarus posted trade deficit in the tune of $790.9 million.

Cooperation is mainly based on effective interaction between machine-building and petrochemical complexes, joint production of agricultural equipment, technological upgrading of the agricultural companies. Mutual cooperation deliveries account for 30% of the total trade turnover. The production of Belarus tractors in Yelabuga and Saransk satisfy more than half of Russia’s demand in these tractors.

Belarus’ main exports to the Volga Federal District include tractors, trucks, refrigerators, freezers, tyres, spare parts, combustion engines, cord materials, milk, cheese and curd, etc. In the Volga Federal District there are over 120 facilities of the commodity-distribution network that sell nearly 50% of Belarus’ export deliveries to the regions.


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