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Belarus to put nearly $5bn in road, railway development

Belarus plans to allocate nearly $5 billion for the development of its highways and railways, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky said as he met with Latvian businessmen in Riga on 24 September.

According to the PM, Belarus hopes to expand accessibility of its markets by developing its transit potential, upgrading its highways and railways. In his words, nearly $3 billion will be put in the construction of four-lane roads to the oblast centers. About $2 billion will be injected into the development of railways including high-speed railway traffic. The Customs Union will open additional opportunities for Belarus’ transit potential. Belarus plans to attract more freight traffic from the Asian countries including China.

According to Sergei Sidorsky, foreign investors including those from Latvia will benefit from working with Belarus as a member of the Customs Union (a market of 170 million people). The Customs Union major advantage is a free movement of goods within its territory. Conformance certificates as well as a number of other certificates will be valid in every Customs Union member-state.

The Prime Minister of Belarus expressed confidence that the Latvian and Belarusian business would intensify their activity on both the markets. According to him, the governments of the two countries have recently adopted a set of decisions to promote business partnership between Belarus and Latvia.

Belarus also counts on further cooperation with Latvia in transport and industry. The Belarusian side has offered Latvia joint production of trams and trolleybuses. “We have agreed to share our technologies,” Sergei Sidorsky added. Such projects will create new jobs. Joint produce will be available on the markets of Latvia and the EU.

Sergei Sidorsky also hopes to promote small business including logistics. The Freeport of Riga and the port of Ventspils are viewed as Belarus’ promising partners. In his words, Belarus is in close cooperation with the Baltic states in freight traffic, simultaneously working with the ports of Russia and Ukraine

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