22 Nov 2023 15:36

Russia and Belarus agree 23 import substitution projects worth 105 bln rubles - Belarusian Deputy PM

MINSK. Nov 22 (Interfax) - Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Belarusian Ministry of Industry have agreed on 23 import-substitution projects, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic Pyotr Parkhomchik said at a joint meeting of the two chambers of the Belarusian parliament on Wednesday.

"To date, at the level of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Belarus, 23 import-substitution projects with a total investment cost of 105 billion Russian rubles, of which 74 billion are funds from the Russian state loan, has been agreed upon," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"Loan agreements with banks and partial contracts for the supply of equipment have already been concluded for 13 projects," Parkhomchik said. The first five projects will be completed in 2025, he added.

"In total, 517 million rubles have already been allocated for the implementation of this block of projects, including 219 million rubles from the Russian loan. In addition, nine additional projects totaling about 25 billion Russian rubles have been sent to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade for approval," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

During the period from January-September 2023, the republic as a whole produced import-substituting products at 74% of the annual target, Parkhomchik said. "At the same time, the share of exports in the production volumes of import-substitution goods was 56.1%. The share of import-substitution products in the volume of industrial production was 51.1%, an increase of 7.5 percentage points compared to the same period in 2022," he said.

As Parkhomchik emphasized, the implementation of the projects will not only "significantly improve the technological level of our enterprises, but there will also be an effect for Russian consumers - reducing dependence on imports of components and equipment."

"For example, Gomselmash will organize its own production of components for manufactured combine harvesters. At the same time, the needs of the Russian Rostselmash for these products will be met. It is expected that exports of bridge sets and mechanical transmission components to Russia will increase significantly. The Minsk Gear Plant will create production of rotation bodies, which will allow the plant to increase revenue from product sales fourfold. And the modernization of existing production at BelAZ will increase equipment production volumes 40%," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

An intergovernmental agreement to provide the government of Belarus with a state financial loan from Russia for up to 105 billion Russian rubles was signed in November 2022. The funds will be used for import substitution projects.