Nikolay Demchuk: Uzbekistan is important partner of Belarus in Central Asian region
| The people of Belarus celebrate a national holiday, the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus on 3 July. This date is associated with the day of the liberation of the country's capital, the city of Minsk, from German-Fascist invaders in 1944. |
Today Belarus is a young, dynamically developing European country, demonstrating fast growth of the economic potential.
At this time, the country's industrial giants, such as Minsk Tractor Plant, Minsk Automobile Plant, and Belarus Automobile Plant have become the true leaders of Belarus' export. Tractors, trucks, unique quarry equipment are used in many countries of the world.
Belarus satisfies 30% of the world's demand for large trucks, 6% - for tractors, a substantial share of the world's production of the certain type of micro-processors. Some 60% of Belarus' GDP is exported.
UzReport.com interviewed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus, Nikolay Demchuk.
- Mr. Demchuk, please accept our most sincere greetings on the upcoming holiday – the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. Could you please tell about the achievements Belarus has made during the 15 years of its independence?
- The presidential elections held in May 2006 clearly illustrated that the people of Belarus did not simply elect the leader of the state, rather they once again confirmed their adherence to the country's historical decision.
The Republic of Belarus stands for the creation of just and humane world, for progress and prosperity on the planet, for the supremacy of the law in international relations.
Belarus put forward the idea of multi-level integration in the post-Soviet space, particularly in the framework of the unions, such as Eurasian Economic Community, and Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
It should be noted that the results achieved by Belarus have been recognized not only domestically, but also abroad. Life showed that the route chosen, oriented at strong state power in the country, is capable of producing specific economic results. The country's GDP grew by 10.3% in January-May 2006 compared to the same period of 2005, and totaled US$12.9 billion.
- Mr. Ambassador, how would you appraise the state of Belarus-Uzbek trade, economic and political cooperation?
- With a substantial economic potential, Uzbekistan plays a key role in Central Asia. This country has a rich ancient history that has enclosed significant contribution to the world civilization. Our countries are united by the past of our nations, which have always lived in peace and friendly relations, as well as latest history of young states, which face similar problems on their ways to building democracy. Undoubtedly, for Belarus Uzbekistan is an important partner in this region. This is particularly illustrated by the fact that Belarus Embassy in Tashkent has moved to a new modern office. Moreover, the First National Exhibition of the Republic of Belarus was held in Uzbekistan in March 2006. The exhibition provided a powerful impulse for the development of new partnership ties between the companies of Belarus and Uzbekistan.
Belarus and Uzbekistan actively cooperation in the framework of the EurAsEC. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the EurAsEC Interstate Council held on 23 June in Minsk. In the course of the summit, Uzbekistan stopped moratorium on participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), which should spur cooperation between Belarus and Uzbekistan in the military-political sphere.
The dynamics of bilateral economic relations achieved by the parties allows us to speak about the systematic nature of the promotion of mutual economic interests of Belarus and Uzbekistan.
Starting from 2000, the annual growth rates of the bilateral trade between Belarus and Uzbekistan on average have made up 20-30%. This year is unlikely to be an exception. According to the results of January-April 2006, bilateral trade between the countries grew by 15% year-on-year.
Belarus' export to Uzbekistan mainly includes trucks, wood chipboards, medicaments, malt, matches, vaccination, stationary, stoves, tires, and other goods (the total of 82 commodity groups). Uzbek consumers show high demand for the Belarus brands such as MAZ, MTZ, Gefest, Atlant, and Milavitsa.
Uzbekistan supplies cotton fibre, cotton yarn, and fruit and vegetables to Belarus.
In 2006, trade-economic cooperation between Belarus and Uzbekistan moved to a new level. The leading Belarus companies offer Uzbek partners attractive investment projects. In April 2006, the Protocol of Intention on Setting up Assembly of Belaru-1221 Tractors with the Capacity of up to 2,000 units yearly on the Base of Tashkent Tractor Plant".
The intention on the opening of a joint venture to specialize in production of diesel engines and component parts on the base of Tashkent Motor Plant has been confirmed.
One of the largest producers of furniture in Belarus, Pinskdrev Company is negotiating with Uzbek partners on the creation of a joint venture to specialize in production of furniture, as well as other projects.
- During his recent visit to Navoi region, President Islam Karimov met the head of the Navoi Mining and Smelting Complex, and noted the importance of economic cooperation, particularly with the companies of Belarus producing trucks and similar technology. In what condition is cooperation in this sphere?
- In 2005, Belarus Automobile Plant BelAZ issued dealership rights to the Rule Asian Marketing Uzbek Company. The company closely cooperates with the businesses of Uzbekistan interested in purchasing automobile technology, particularly Almalyk and Navoi Mining and Smelting Complexes, Uzbekugol (Uzbe Coal) Plant, companies specialized in production of cement and others. These companies currently operate over 500 large BelAZ trucks. Our Uzbek partners appreciate the reliability, simplicity in exploitation, and reasonable prices charged for the machines. The latter is quite important, in view of the pricing strategies of other brands famous around the world.
Belarus is also ready to build close cooperation with regards to the supply to Uzbekistan of products of Minsk Automobile Plant, Minsk Plant of Wheeled Tractors, Amkodor, Mogilev Automobile Plant, MogilevTransMash on mutually beneficial conditions.
Describing bilateral cultural relations, I would like to note the gradual development and mutual interest demonstrated by Uzbekistan and Belarus to each other's cultures. Uzbekistan is a regular participant of the International Art Festival "Slavic Fair In Vitebsk" and Minsk International Festival "Listapad". Belarus performers, in turn, participate in the international musical festival "Shark Taronalari" (The Melodies of the Orient). By participating in the international cultural forums organized both in Belarus and Uzbekistan, Belarus and Uzbek masters of variety and cinematography enclose valuable contribution into the development of cooperation in the sphere of culture and art between the countires.
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