MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Belarus’ trade with Venezuela totaled $1.3 billion in 2011. It was as little as $1.9 million in 2000, head of the Foreign Ministry’s department for Latin America Viktor Kozintsev said in a meeting marking the 15th anniversary of Belarusian-Venezuelan diplomatic relations and the 20th anniversary of the military coup in Venezuela.
The two countries are very active in strengthening ties and diversifying bilateral supplies, the diplomat said. Before 2007 potash fertilizers had been Belarus’ main exports to Venezuela. Venezuela exported to Belarus small amounts of tobacco, spare parts and equipment for trucks and tractors.
The Belarusian official stressed that the work of the joint commission for trade and economic cooperation which first sat in Caracas in March 2010 contributes a lot to the ties strengthening. Another joint high-level commission held its first meeting in Minsk in August 2009.
Belorusneft expanded into Caracas in 2007. The Belarusian-Venezuelan joint venture Petrolera BeloVenezolana was opened to produce oil at Venezuelan deposits. Belgorkhimprom opened its office in Venezuela as well. The joint company Petroil VB was registered in 2010 to process and sell the Venezuelan oil. The Belarusian-Venezuelan company with joint capital Venezuelagazstroi was registered in August 2011. The two countries have also set up a joint commission for cooperation in science and technology.
A number of large-scale projects in trade, economic, sci-tech and other sectors are underway in Venezuela in line with the agreements made at the high level. Contacts are becoming more and more regular between ministries, organizations, educational and scientific centers of the two countries.
Belarus is taking part in Venezuela’s large-scale construction projects.