On Trade and Economic Cooperation between Belarus and Syria09 December 2003
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Syria Vladimir Lopato-Zagorskiy said that Minsk automobile plant is actively increasing deliveries of its goods to the Syrian market. Some 380 MAZ trucks have already been sold to Syria in collaboration with the company “Sakkal and sons”; another consignment of vehicles is being prepared for shipment. By the end of the year the company-agent intends to purchase yet 150-180 automobiles including 30 trucks with new driver’s cab.
The company “Sakkal and sons” plans to begin active work on promoting MAZ trucks in Lebanon. Vladimir Lopato-Zagorskiy informed that initially it is planned to establish a transport company, which will perform cargo transportation in Lebanon and other countries of the region. The second stage envisages organizing leasing and selling automobiles on credit.
Early November in Minsk a delegation of the company “Sakkal and sons” conducted negotiations with managers of the open joint stock company “Udarnik” and Minsk tractor plant.
According to Vladimir Lopato-Zagorskiy, Syria also shows interest in products of the Minsk motor plant. Trucks ZIL-130 which are widely used in Syria are supposed to be fitted with Belarusian diesel engines.
Specialists from Minsk have already prepared the first truck with such engine for trial.
As the Ambassador noted there is some progress in investments’ attracting. Syrian businessmen are studying the possibilities of setting up a joint venture in woodworking, hotel business and tourism. At the beginning of 2003 the joint venture “Evlina” was created in Belarus with participation of Syrian capital. Joint limited liability company “Aguafresh” is going through state registration. It will be involved in extraction and bottling of mineral and drinking water.
For the last five years the Belarusian-Syrian trade-economic cooperation has been developing dynamically. The bilateral trade turnover has increased significantly. In 1999 – the first year of the Belarusian embassy operation in Damascus – the trade turnover made $2,1mln, in 2002 - $14,8mln. In the nine months of the current year the countries have approached the $10mln trade turnover. The Belarusian export accounts for 99% of the trade turnover. Belarus mainly exports trucks and tractors and also optic devices and fiberboards.
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