Belarus strengthens its position at the Sant Miquel Fair – Eurofruit

It will be represented by a stand with agricultural machinery companies from that country and companies that import agricultural products such as oil, fruit, wine or cereals

Belarus will once again have a prominent presence at the Sant Miquel Fair in Lleida. For the second consecutive year, it will be represented with its own stand, in which agricultural machinery companies from that country and companies that import agricultural products such as oil, fruit, wine or cereals will be present. This year, the incorporation of the prestigious MTW tractor manufacturer, the fifth most important company in the world in its sector, stands out. It will be presented “officially” in Lleida after more than a decade of absence in Spain.

Created in 1946, Minsk Tractor Works (MTW) is one of the most important industrial companies in Belarus. It brings together 9 companies that produce parts and accessories for tractors and other vehicles, and employs some 17,000 workers. The company produces about a hundred models of vehicles, the most important of which is the “MTZ” tractor, also known as “Belarus”. The company holds an 8-10% share of the world market for wheeled tractors and exports to 60 countries on all five continents.

The space of the Republic of Eastern Europe at the Sant Miquel Fair will also be attended by Cristian Balcells, Honorary Consul of Belarus in Barcelona, with origins in Lleida and the driving force behind a task of economic revitalisation of both territories, a task that is already being translated into concrete results. The delegation is expected to be accompanied by Pavel Pustovoy, Belarusian Ambassador to Spain; Sergey Lukashevich, Economic Affairs Counsellor at the Embassy, and other members of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It should be remembered that the Belarusian presence at the Catalan agricultural show is the result of the trade mission organized jointly by the Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Belarusian Consulate in Barcelona last June to promote the Sant Miquel-Eurofruit and Municipality Fair in Belarus.

During the course of that action, the heads of Fira de Lleida and of the BELAGRO agricultural fair signed an agreement to promote commercial contacts between both parties, basically through the presence of a joint delegation of Belarusian companies and representatives of the Belarusian Ministry of Agriculture in the Lleida fair.

It should be remembered that basically Lleida exports agri-food products and agricultural machinery in Belarus, while imports are focused on the housing sector and, to a lesser extent, on raw materials and manufactures.

In addition to its economic potential, Belarus has a strategic role in importing in the commercial field, since it is considered a gateway from Europe to a market of more than 250 million inhabitants. Other republics belonging to the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) federation are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Belarus is a very attractive country for Catalan companies as it is a large consumer of fruit, oil, wine and cava, on the one hand, and for its strategic position in the centre of Europe, on the other. In the last three years it has registered growth rates of over 6%, with a strong economic dependence on Russia due to its long membership of the Soviet Union and the productive specialisation of the centralised economies. From the time it belonged to the Soviet Union it maintains a significant industrial structure and developed agriculture, as well as a high level of training.

Despite the fact that initially, when it became independent, there was a strong process of privatization, currently 80% of industrial enterprises are in the hands of the State. As for the mining and natural resources sector, it has abundant coal and forests covering one third of the country, so the timber industry is important. In agriculture, the exploitation of products typical of the Central European area, such as potatoes, wheat, oats, rye and beet, is noteworthy. The livestock is mainly cattle. Imports of oil and other fuels are the focus of trade with Russia. The production and export of machinery, such as tractors, tools, agricultural equipment and fertilizers have a significant economic weight. The World Bank estimated an unemployment rate in Belarus of 0.5% in 2015.

The 66th edition of the Sant Miquel Agricultural Fair and the 35th edition of the Eurofruit show will take place from 24th to 27th September.

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