ROME, 7 February (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in encouraging new Italian companies to operate in free economic zones and the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone. The relevant statement was made by Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas during his working trip to Italy on 7 February, BelTA has learned.
The day before the Belarusian head of government met with Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Minister of Economic Development, Labor and Social Policy Luigi Di Maio. It was the first meeting at the level of top Belarusian and Italian government officials in the last ten years.
Sergei Rumas said: “We talked not only about results of trade and economic cooperation, which has been steadily growing for the last few years, but also about transition to investment cooperation. About 260 Italian companies successfully operate in Belarus. An entire industrial district in the free economic zone Brest has been allocated for them. There are few companies operating in this district but due to a number of objective reasons. Yesterday we talked about how we can bring new Italian capital there, what businesses can be relocated.”
The prime minister pointed out that good conditions for Italian business had been enabled in the free economic zones and the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone.
A coalition government was established in Italy about eight months ago. Sergei Rumas noted that its goals are similar to those the Belarusian government works on to a large degree. “Close attention is paid to the domestic agenda. The new government closely follows the situation concerning jobs, social security of workers. These are the same matters the Belarusian government takes care of, too,” he explained.
Italy is traditionally an important trade partner of Belarus. In 2018 Belarus-Italy trade totaled $912.7 million, 15.2% up from 2017. The top Belarusian exports were potash fertilizers, metal products, furniture, and wood products.