Vitebsk oblast establishing long-term relations with Saint Petersburg
A cooperation agreement between the Vitebsk oblast executive committee and the administration of the Moscow district of Saint Petersburg was signed in Vitebsk on July 13. The agreement is aimed at promoting the bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, information, social and cultural areas, BelTA learnt from deputy chairman of the Vitebsk oblast executive committee Piotr Yuzhik.
It is the first agreement between a region and an administrative territory of Saint Petersburg. Under the agreement, the sides will develop long-term comprehensive trade, economic, information, social and cultural links on the principles based on mutual benefit, understanding, respect, trust and strict adherence to the obligations, Piotr Yuzhik underlined.
According to the economy department of the Vitebsk oblast executive committee, in January-May 2008, the trade between the oblast and Saint Petersburg totalled $27 million. Saint Petersburg is third biggest Russian trade partner of the Vitebsk oblast after Moscow and Moscow region. Russia's Northern Capital accounts for 10% of the Vitebsk oblast exports to Russia, and the export to this city is twice as much as the import. The major exports are made up by foodstuffs (they account for one third of the supplies to Saint Petersburg). Over the last year, the export of polyethylene (10% of the total exports) doubled, the export of footwear and cable (9% each) rose 1.5 times, the export of television sets (5%), cement and concrete products, clothes and glass fibre increased, too.
The Vitebsk oblast and Saint Petersburg actively cooperate in the cultural and social areas, education and health care. During summer holidays, a lot of excursions to Saint Petersburg are organized. The specialists of the health care department take part in the seminars organized in Saint Petersburg on various issues of medicine and public health care.
The enterprises of the oblast actively participate in the specialized exhibitions held in Saint Petersburg: Norvecom (telecommunication equipment), Fashion Industry (clothing), Metal Processing, Interfood, Foodstuffs and Beverages, Agrorus. Every year enterprises of the oblast OAO Moloko, OAO Vitebsk Meat-Packing Plant and Vitebsk Alcoholic Beverage Factory win gold and silver medals of the international foodstuffs exhibition Peterfood.