Belarus wants Pakistan to jointly manufacture tractors

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – February 20, 2019
ISLAMABAD: A delegation from the Republic of Belarus led by Belarusian deputy minister Dmitry Korchik, along with Belarusian ambassador Andrei Ermolovich, called on national food security and research minister Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan on Tuesday, the meeting focused on export of Belarusian tractors and other agricultural machinery to Pakistan and transfer of technology for progressive manufacturing of this machinery in Pakistan.

According to an official statement, Korchik said that agriculture is a big part of Pakistan economy and same is true for Belarus, Belarusian tractors are very famous in Pakistan. He said we want to broaden our agro machinery partnership in Pakistan and Belarus has developed advanced harvester(s) and other remarkable agro machinery.

The harvesters are exported to 30 countries worldwide and Pakistan is also a potential market for “un-manned” harvester.

Korchik said before the next meeting of JWG in second half of 2019, both the countries must hold bilateral talk on agriculture especially areas relating to joint ventures. He continued that Belarus is willing to support the joint production of the same tractor in Pakistan along with other agricultural machinery.

He said that Belarus needs support to find reliable new partners for Belarusian tractors in Pakistan. Sultan said that the proposal of joint production of agricultural machinery is quite appealing and it could be exported to neighbour countries from Pakistan, this will also provide increased employment opportunities for local population.

Sultan said the extended cooperation in the field of agriculture would allow the transfer of new technology besides creating a competitive environment in tractor and agricultural machinery industry for the benefit of farmers.

He said both countries must take actions for earlier implementation of the agreed decisions of fourth session of Pakistan-Belarus JWG. It is pertinent to mention that in fourth session of JWG on agriculture both the parties agreed on cooperation in the field of farm mechanisation particularly the development of agricultural machinery, equipment and implements and while acknowledging the strength of Belarusian side in agriculture mechanisation, especially in tractor manufacturing, the Pakistan side emphasised its interest for establishing joint ventures between the two countries for manufacturing of different types of agriculture machinery, equipment and implements.

The Belarusian side agreed to facilitate arrangements between the business entities of both countries for the purpose.

Pakistan-Belarus bilateral relations have good future prospects in terms of promotion of trade of agro-commodities, export of dairy products, meat and getting benefits from each other’s expertise in agricultural research and development and tractor manufacturing industry.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pakistan and Belarus on cooperation in the field of agriculture has been signed.

Furthermore, three MoUs have already been signed by Pakistan agricultural research council PARC, department of plant protection (DPP) and livestock wing (LW) with their respective counterpart.

According to which both parties may cooperate in the following areas: a) plant production; b) animal husbandry; c) mechanisation of agricultural works; d) seed production; e) technology in agriculture; f) land improvement, land use planning and studies on soil; g) scientific and research activity in the field of agriculture; and h) phytosanitary and veterinary control.

Pakistan’s imports from Belarus stood at $45.13 million in 2017-18 which mainly consisted of agricultural tractors (62.04 percent). The fourth joint working group (JWG) meeting was held on November, 2017 in Islamabad and the next meeting is scheduled to be held in Minsk this year.

Sultan said that farm mechanisation is an important ingredient of the strategy to accelerate the growth rate in agriculture sector. The agriculture sector is the backbone of the economy, contributing 18.9 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017-18.

He further said that we welcome foreign investment in Pakistan and it is a vision of the prime minister (PM) Imran Khan to encourage the foreign investment in the country. Sultan said that we are moving towards achieving the maximum agricultural output through mechanisation.

We need harvesters, tractors and other agro implements. He added that we are asking/encouraging private sector to come up and go ahead in joint ventures with potential foreign investors especially in the field of agriculture.