Millennium Post

Belarus PM invites Indian investments

Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich on Wednesday sought more Indian investments in his country, asking business leaders to increase cooperation in sectors like heavy engineering goods and fertiliser to boost economic ties.

Accompanied by a business delegation, Myasnikovich, who was on a day-long trip, said that the two countries can increase engagement in sectors like pharmaceutical, biotechnology and information technology.

'We invite Indian businessmen to invest in Belarus. We are inviting joint collaborations in sectors like pharmaceuticals. We can help Indian companies in heavy engineering goods,' he said while addressing industry chambers Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) at a luncheon meeting.

He said that huge potential exist between the two countries to boost trade and investments.

'It (bilateral trade) is considerably lower than the existing potential. We can establish joint ventures for production of agriculture equipment and increase cooperation in exploring hydrocarbon energy and modernisation of petrochemical set-ups,' he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari too reiterated that bilateral trade and investment between India and Belarus remains below its potential.

'Both sides need to make sincere and concerted efforts by taking specific measures to enhance trade,' she observed.

Bilateral trade between the two countries during financial year 2011-12 stood at about $300 million. The minister said that Belarus is well known as a major supplier of potash fertilisers.

'India is interested in long-term off-take, besides being interested in investing in the potash sector in Belarus. I believe talks between the two sides are going on. We need to make efforts to take this dialogue forward,' she added.

Purandeswari opined that leather and foot wear, chemicals, dyes, tea, coffee and consumer durables can be some of the other areas of trade engagement between the two countries.. She noted that state-run firm Bharat Heavu Engineering Ltd (Bhel) is working on the upgradation of a power plant in Belarus. 'We hope that this will lead to further projects being awarded to Indian companies,' she stressed.

India exports mainly pharmaceuticals, tea, rice, pepper, yarn and organic dyes to that country. About 60 companies from Belarus are participating in the fair. This year Belarus has been given 'partner country' status at the fair. Meanwhile, three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed on the occasion. These included joint development of machine building plants in India for the aviation, railways, automobile and power sectora.

It was inked between Indian firm Avia Prom Solutions and Belarus-based Belstankp Instrument Holding.

Enrika Trades and Services signed an MoU with OJSC Belarusian Autoworks to buy 10 Belaz dumpers worth $23 million to be used for coal mining in India.

Another MoU was inked between Avia Prom Solutions and Belarusian firm Machine Building Plant for the promotion of machine-building plants in India for aviation, railways, automobile and the power sector.
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