Belarus-Israel agro-industrial park to attract up to $2.5bn in investment
October 10, 2013
The Belarusian-Israeli agro-industrial park can attract up to $2.5 billion in investment in the near future, Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology (SCST) Igor Voitov told media on 9 October, BelTA has learnt.
The project of the Belarusian-Israeli agro-industrial park is being worked out by the State Committee for Science and Technology on the government’s instruction as one of the ways to intensify cooperation with Israel.
“Today we start receiving proposals from foreign states to set up an innovative manufacturing park. Germany has voiced an initiative to develop a production of rural low-cost dwelling. Americans suggest exploring a technology of local energy supply of agricultural facilities. Russian companies are also interested in coming to this technological zone. We have a good capacity in its development. Israeli companies have been successfully working in Belarus. One of the examples of effective cooperation is a poultry complex in Dzerzhinsk,” Igor Voitov said.
The SCST Chairman stressed that Belarus needs to work hard to advance its agricultural products to the world market. It is possible only given the relevant certification. “One of the first projects we plan to implement at the Belarusian-Israeli park is to open an international independent certification body for the agricultural produce in order to be able to supply it to the EU and other markets. The formula feed industry is our second step. Israel has voiced its proposal to produce new types of fodder with the use of parboiling technology. These innovations can be spread across the country in the future,” Igor Voitov is confident.
He also named biotechnologies for cattle breeding and milk processing, production of vegetables among promising cooperation areas. “Israel has done a lot in fish-farming. Vitebsk Oblast has also adopted a big program on fish industry development. This area can be actively developed since we import up to 75% of fish products today,” the SCST Chairman said.
He also noted that the Belarusian partners are also interested not only in implementing new technologies but also in consuming Belarusian products. “The future park will produce eco-friendly products which is highly popular on the global market. Israel also suggests developing apiaries in order to supply bioactive honey to Israel. They have a huge bio-industry, and Belarus can become a supplier of plant materials, including herbs and forest products,” Igor Voitov said.
The park project was presented to the Israeli delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development headed by Minister Yair Shamir on 9 October. The Israeli guests met with the Vitebsk Oblast authorities and were taken on a tour around Orsha and Tolochin Districts, where the two parties thinking of setting up the Belarusian-Israeli agro-industrial park.
In January-July 2013 the trade between Vitebsk Oblast and Israel totaled $650,000, with exports reaching $24,000. The annual trade makes up nearly $1.5 million. The main exports include optical instruments, glass-cloth and optical cable. Israel sells to Belarus pharmaceutical drugs (50% of the total supplies), fruit, instruments.
Source: BELTA, photos BelISA