Belarus and Italy discuss joint projects in road construction

The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus has invited Italian companies and banks to participate in road construction and maintenance projects.

The Belarusian-Italian cooperation in the transport sector was discussed in Minsk in a meeting between Belarus' Transport and Communications Minister Ivan Shcherbo and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Belarus Arnaldo Abeti.

According to the press service, the meeting focused on the prospects of possible cooperation between the two countries in the development of the road sector of Belarus, in particular, the projects to build four-lane highways from Minsk to the oblast capitals as well as other major road projects. “The minister stressed that the Belarusian side is ready to cooperate in attracting loans from foreign banks and in construction, operation and maintenance of roads on the terms of concession,” the press service reported.

The diplomat stated he would inform the Italian banks about Belarus proposals. He stressed that Belarus is a country with a huge economic potential, and there are many opportunities for bilateral cooperation. The number of Italian companies that show interest in the country has been increasing. The Ambassador expressed the hope that Directive No 4 would prompt an inflow of investment in the transport industry and Belarusian economy in general.

The meeting also focused on cooperation prospects in international haulage. According to Ivan Shcherbo, since 2006 the Italian side has pursued the policy of protecting the interests of national carriers. The Transport and Communications Ministry of Belarus has repeatedly addressed the Italian side with a request to re-apply the system of exchanging permits to/from third countries. However, Italy’s position regarding the issue remains unchanged. In this regard Ivan Shcherbo requested the Italian Ambassador to help organize a session of the Belarusian-Italian joint commission this year in order to discuss the issues of further cooperation.

The Belarusian official informed the diplomat on the bilateral cooperation in aviation. The two sides discussed partnership of the railway administrations of Belarus and Italy as well as cooperation of the Belarusian Railways with the Finmeccanica Concern.

According to