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Oil shale production is among lucrative cooperation areas for Belarus, Estonia, deputy foreign minister says
Oil shale exploration and production is a lucrative area for Belarusian-Estonian cooperation, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Syarhey Aleynik said in Minsk on October 21.
Mr. Aleynik suggested that the two countries also could successfully cooperate in the development of road services, the creation of trade and logistics centers and the establishment of joint assembly facilities that would export their products to European Union member states.
Mr. Aleynik was speaking at a Belarusian-Estonian business forum.
He said that two-way trade increased by almost 50 percent to more than $400 million in 2008, with Estonia currently ranking 15th among Belarus’ largest trading partners outside the CIS and ninth among Belarus’ major buyers of its exports.
The deputy minister said that the trade declined this year, linking the downturn with the global economic crisis.
He said that Estonian companies could gain access to the large market of Belarus’ Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Russia by expanding to Belarus.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that he had arrived in Minsk with a large delegation of business executives, noting a “big interest” displayed by his country’s companies in Belarus’ opportunities.
He said that the amount of Estonian investment in Belarus was yet insignificant. “The Belarusian market has a potential for Estonian investment and Estonia has something to offer to Belarusian investors,” the minister said.
Belarus ranks 18th among Estonia’s major trading partners, Mr. Paet said. //BelaPAN