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13 April 2015

China’s Gansu Province intends to develop cooperation with Grodno Oblast

GRODNO, 13 April (BelTA) - Businessmen from the Chinese province of Gansu intend to develop cooperation with Grodno Oblast. On 13 April chairman of the Grodno City Hall Mechislav Goi met with a delegation of the Gansu Province in Grodno, BelTA has learned.

The delegation includes more than 20 businessmen, directors of enterprises, and representatives of the administration. The goal of the visit is to intensify trade and economic ties between the regions of the two countries. The Chinese delegation said they would like to learn more about the commercial real estate in Grodno, the industrial sector, and the development of agriculture.

China is Grodno Oblast’s second largest partner, after Russia, in terms of exports. According to Mechislav Goi, Grodno Oblast is interested in strengthening ties and increasing trade with China and in Chinese investments. The Chinese guests are set to visit the fodder additives plant, Molochny Mir Dairy, a cannery, and the Radiovolna company. All these companies intend to cooperate, one way or another, with China. Chinese investors are already showing interest in the Grodno Hotel, which has been put up for sale, and the Obukhovo airport, which is offered as a site for a logistics terminal. The delegation members are scheduled to get familiar with healthcare institutions of the city, and attend an organ concert in the city’s main Catholic church. The guests also watched a video in Chinese about the tourist and economic potential of Grodno.

Ms. Yang Liping, the head of the delegation, the chief of the division of foreign trade and economic cooperation of Gansu Provincial Department of Commerce, said that the negotiations between chief executives of major enterprises of Grodno and Gansu will allow identifying concrete steps for further cooperation.

Mechislav Goi also expressed his intention to establish a sister-city relationship between Grodno and one of the cities of the Chinese province.

On 14 April, the Chinese delegation will travel to the town of Lida.

In 2014 the foreign trade between Grodno and China amounted to $126.6 million, which accounted for 74.6% of the trade in 2013. Exports made up $76.6 million, imports came at $50 million. China accounted for 6.9% of Grodno total exports, and 6.5% of imports. Grodno Azot (polyamide and caprolactam, industrial yarns) and Gronitex (cottonized fiber) are the only local producers exporting to china. Import from China is diverse and consists of a large group of products. The tobacco factory Neman alone imports raw materials worth $14.5 million.

In January 2014, Grodno Oblast and Gansu Province signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen economic and trade cooperation. A program of cooperation between Grodno Oblast and China's Gansu Province has been developed for the 2014-2020 period.