Trade turnover of Vitebsk and China in H1 2012 expected to reach 2011 level

06 July 2012

VITEBSK (BelTA) - Trade turnover of Vitebsk and China in H1 2012 is expected to reach the level of the year 2011, Chairman of the Vitebsk City Council Victor Nikolaikin told BelTA as he met official delegation of Harbin (China) on 6 July.

In his words, foreign trade turnover of Vitebsk and China in 2010 was $27 million. In 2011, it rose to $31.4 million. In January-April 2012 it reached $26 million (the level of 2010), and according to preliminary calculations for the first half of the year is expected to reach last year’s level.

"Vitebsk and Harbin have great cooperation prospects opened up after signing the agreement on twin-town relations in January 2012, when we outlined the main directions for development cooperation. The participation of Vitebsk delegation in the 23rd Harbin International Economic and Trade Fair held in June has strengthened bilateral relations. Our today meeting is attended by experts from various fields, and it will help to discuss in detail the specific areas of cooperation ", Victor Nikolaikin said. In particular, Vitebsk is interested in the implementation of joint projects on creation of Vitebsk Silicon Valley and a joint venture for production of LED technology with participation of Chinese investors. The projects of creating a tourist complex on the basis of Vitebsk Winery and the development of a fur factory will also be presented to the guests from Harbin. The latter project includes the modernization of production facilities and the transfer of a going concern to the new site, placing it in a single complex with an animal farm. The total project cost is estimated at $41 million.

Victor Nikolaikin convinced that the visit of Chinese delegation will give a new powerful impulse to cooperation and will strengthen the friendship and economic contacts between the cities.

The same opinion is shared by Jiang Guowen, the head of Chinese delegation, Deputy Secretary of CPC Harbin Municipal Committee. "We appreciate our relations with Vitebsk" - he said, noting that this is the first Harbin delegation’s official visit since the establishment of twinning relations between the cities. This time, the delegation comprising the heads of government and representatives of business circles, representing four spheres that are perspective for deepening cooperation. These are the spheres of tourism, high technologies, construction industry and the production of energy-saving equipment and materials. Jiang Guowen expressed confidence that the bilateral business meeting, which will take place on 7 July, will bring tangible results: it will allow potential partners to get to know each other better and to establish close contacts.

The delegation from Harbin arrived in Vitebsk for a two-day official visit. The main work is scheduled for July, 7. On this day, the delegation representatives will meet the Deputy Chairman of the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee Oleg Matskevich, as well as the business meeting of representatives of Chinese official and business delegations and the economic entities of Vitebsk region will be held. In addition, the visitors are supposed to participate in a cultural program, which includes the celebration of the 125th anniversary of Marc Chagall and visiting his eponymous museum and other memorials of the regional center.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus