MOSCOW, 14 November (BelTA) – Partner relations between Moscow and Minsk are characterized by an increasing trade and strengthening of economic ties, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in his greeting speech to mark the opening of Minsk Days in Moscow on 14 November, BelTA has learnt.
“Manufacturers from the Belarusian capital, other cities and oblasts of the country are regular participants of Moscow weekend fairs. Their high-quality products are extremely popular with Moscow residents,” the Moscow Mayor said. He expressed appreciation to Belarusian specialists for participation in a large-scale development program of the Moscow metro service and the construction of other big facilities in the Russian capital.
“The main thing about Minsk Days in Moscow is a joy of meeting long-time friends who have long become more than just business partners to each other,” Sergei Sobyanin stated.
In turn, Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko stressed that the relations with Moscow have always been a priority. “The two cities have been constantly sharing experience in what concerns urban infrastructure development, construction, utility services, healthcare, new technologies. As for foreign trade, Moscow is one of the main strategic partners of Minsk,” he said.
Minsk Days in Moscow, which will run through 16 November, will comprise a great number of events covering all areas of bilateral cooperation. Among them is an economic conference and a business matchmaking session, roundtables to discuss youth policies and social security, education and healthcare, exhibition games by football and handball national teams and a concert by Belarusian singers and performers.
The opening of Minsk Days in Moscow was preceded by the launching of two large trade fairs of Belarusian producers on 12 November. The exhibition fairs entitled Minsk for Muscovites featured products of 130 Minsk companies.
Minsk and Moscow have 170 agreements on cooperation and establishment of partner relations in various areas, including 12 agreements signed at the governmental level, 31 – at the executive power level, 11 – between prefectures and oblasts and 94 – between municipal councils and districts.
Moscow accounts for over 20% of Russia’s imports from Belarus, for more than 12% of Russia’s total trade turnover. In January-September 2013 Belarus-Moscow trade totaled $3,879.9 million, up 7.9% on the same period last year. Exports made up $2.587 billion (up 9.7%), imports - $1.292.9 billion (4.6%). Belarus posted trade surplus of $1.294 billion. Belarus’ main exports to Moscow comprise food products, trucks, tractors and furniture. Belarus imports energy resources, metals, electric conductors, cars and equipment, fur clothes and leather goods.