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Austrian commercial counselor forecasts 10% growth of the Belarusian-Austrian turnover in 2007

21.02.2007

”We assess the development of the economic cooperation between Austria and Belarus as stable and suppose 10% growth of the bilateral turnover in 2007” – said the commercial counselor of the Austrian Embassy in Russia Mr. Johann Kausl in the interview to the Belarusian news agency BelaPAN.

”We assess the development of the economic cooperation between Austria and Belarus as stable and suppose 10% growth of the bilateral turnover in 2007” – said the commercial counselor of the Austrian Embassy in Russia Mr. Johann Kausl in the interview to the Belarusian news agency BelaPAN.

Summarizing the results of the bilateral trade and economic cooperation in 2006, Mr. Kausl qualified it as “on the whole, positive”. According to Mr. Kausl, year 2006 showed a 30% turnover increase, in export as in import. In money terms the turnover totaled about 100 Mio. Euros. Belarusian export to Austria is mainly represented by irons, timber, chemicals, together with glass fiber and several agricultural products. Import from Austria is mainly represented by industrial equipment.

According to Mr. Kausl, about 70 companies with Austrian capital are operating in Belarus. Among successful projects J. Kausl named Raiffeisenbank-Priorbank, Austrian Airlines, supply of the Belarusian steel works (BMZ) with the equipment of VOEST-Alpine company on the one hand, and on the other hand the export of the BMZ production to the Austrian customers.

Year 2007 plans are the following: holding of the Joint Belarusian-Austrian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation meeting in Minsk and Mogilev in March, assisting Belarusian and Austrian companies in starting and strengthening of their cooperation. A promising joint project might be the setting up of a new plant in Smolevichi for producing high-quality float glass. The project will be implemented by Austrian ATEK company, which has been upgrading the Yelizovo glass works together with Belarusian partners since 2002. Investments in the new production facility are expected to exceed €150 million.
According to Mr. Kausl’s opinion, “further maximally active contact of businessmen, open dialog and the searching for the solution of various questions” is necessary for a more active development of the bilateral economic relations. “In my opinion an important role also plays the informal contact of our citizens, the possibility to learn more the culture and the mentality of each other” – he noted. “Such exchange of opinions, undoubtedly bring us together and contributes to the development of relations, including economic ones”.

BelaPAN

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