And although more than a thousand kilometers separate the Russian region from the cotton fields of Belarus, friends and partners are trying to strengthen the economic muscles of cooperation. According to the results of the first quarter of this year alone, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said during a meeting with the head of the Republic of Karelia Artur Parfenchikov on May 24 that the trade turnover between Belarus and Karelia had increased by 1.6 times, amounting to more than 27 million dollars.
Positively assessing the path traveled by his colleagues, the head of the Belarusian government focused on the fact that “a feature of bilateral trade and economic relations is a certain dependence on a number of major commodities “.
The fact is that in the structure of exports to Karelia, cellulose and truck deliveries dominate. Yes, and in the structure of imports from Karelia, the positions are still predominant – sea products and ores: pebbles, gravel, crushed stone.
Although recently, according to Golovchenko, new positions have appeared. “In particular, in January-March, Belarusians bought medical products from Karelia for almost $2 million,” he said.
The Prime Minister is convinced that specialists should be more effective in diversifying the range of trade products, especially since there are very large reserves for this. In this regard, he noted the activities of the working group on the development of bilateral cooperation. Such a mechanism, he stressed, “proving its effectiveness, makes it possible to find new sources of growth and to monitor the implementation of ongoing projects”.
Both sides have significant reserves for the growth of agriculture and food. “Due to the climatic conditions, agriculture is probably not the key area of the region, but, nevertheless, it is very important. In 2022, the turnover of trade in the agricultural and food sector increased amounted to $14.5 million, with an increase of almost 1.5 times from 2021 “These numbers are insignificant. We believe that there are significant reserves of growth. First of all, they lie in the region’s specialization in the cultivation of valuable fish species,” Golovchenko said.
In short, he concluded, there is a whole series of issues that need to be actively worked on. “It’s about increasing the supply of modern fish feed from Belarus, creating new recipes, exchanging experience in breeding valuable fish species.”
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