Belarus’ Minsk Oblast, Tajikistan Discuss Ways to Bolster Ties

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Minsk Oblast is interested in intensifying cooperation with Tajikistan in various areas, Minsk Oblast governor Aleksandr Turchin said at a meeting with Tajikistan Ambassador to Belarus Bakhtovar Safarzoda, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Turchin noted the high level of relations between the leaders of the states, which contributes to interaction at the regional level.

He said he was set to visit Sughd Region of Tajikistan in the autumn. “We need to step up cooperation. It has the potential to rise by an order of magnitude. I set myself such a task. In addition to intensifying trade, we need to think about joint ventures and facilities taking into account the interests of both our country and Tajikistan. I hope that you will use all your experience and knowledge to promote this work not only in Minsk Oblast but also in Belarus as a whole,” the governor said.

Ambassador Bakhtovar Safarzoda noted that this is his first mission as an ambassador. “I am glad that I am starting in a friendly country. The Belarusian people are our brothers, with whom we have been living in the same space, the same political and legal field for more than a century. People here are very friendly, just like people in Tajikistan. There are a lot of similarities between us,” he said.

Ambassador Bakhtovar Safarzoda thanked the governor for finding the time to meet. The Embassy of Tajikistan is the only one that is geographically located in Minsk Oblast. “We cannot help but be friends,” the ambassador stressed. “The leaders of the two nations have established very trusting, fraternal, friendly relations. At the time of the appointment, I was given specific instructions: to bolster our cooperation. We are lagging behind the agreements signed by intergovernmental commissions, between governments, heads of state and regions. There are inter-district partnership agreements. We need to revive them.”

Ambassador Bakhtovar Safarzoda invited the Minsk regional authorities to attend the Dushanbe 2023 international investment forum in late September.

The two countries have built a legal framework, both at the level of regions and at the level of districts and cities, the ambassador noted. Now it is time to put the agreements into practice, to find new common ground. “There are a lot of untapped resources. We need to work more intensively to raise the level of industrial, entrepreneurial cooperation, ties between travel agencies. The landscape in Tajikistan is mostly mountains, and in Belarus these are lakes, forests, beautiful cities. Citizens of Belarus might want to explore the mountains, and citizens of Tajikistan – the beauty of forests. The two countries should work harder on increasing tourist flows,” Ambassador Bakhtovar Safarzoda said.

Aleksandr Turchin recalled that an agreement had been concluded between Minsk Oblast and Sughd Region. “We need to take a fresh look at our relations, outline the areas of cooperation that we should focus on. We discussed interregional cooperation, the use of Tajikistan as a gateway to the neighboring markets, ways of setting up new manufactures and enterprises. We need to pick up pace and reach the level of trade and economic relations that corresponds to the level of political relations and relations between our peoples. In the context of the upcoming investment forum in Dushanbe, we outlined a number of specific areas in which negotiations can be held and further ways of interaction can be mapped out,” the governor summed up the meeting.

In H1 2023 trade between Minsk Oblast and Tajikistan hit almost $10 million, up by 49.9% year-on-year. Exports exceeded $9.2 million (up by 55.9%), imports – $788,400.

Major exports to Tajikistan include sugar, printed materials, poultry products, aluminum products, and eggs and major imports – dried fruits, mixtures of nuts, cotton yarn, jams, jellies, marmalade, juices, peanuts.

Source : ENG