Banjaluka, September 24 – Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said that a visit by a business delegation from St. Petersburg to Banjaluka was very important for Republika Srpska since it created prospects for cooperation. “As was agreed during my participation in the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg three months ago, people from St. Petersburg administration came and they will discuss prospects for cooperation with our ministers, public administration representatives and entrepreneurs,” Dodik told reporters in Banjaluka.
Dodik said that “specialists” who work on the issues of imports and preparation of entrepreneurs, and the head of their Tourist Bureau, who will get informed of Republika Srpska’s potentials and propose ways for possible cooperation, are on a visit to Banjaluka.
He said that St. Petersburg is a “huge consumer” and that the cooperation would not be limited to this Russian city but would be expanded to other cities, in keeping with Srpska’s potentials.
“I can already see that we do not have enough quantities of certain goods to meet their needs. This is why it is important to create long-term arrangements which will stimulate certain kinds of production,” Dodik said.
Dodik said that it was agreed during his visit to St. Petersburg that a Russian delegation will visit Republika Srpska, not to deal with mere trade, but to set relations which would last in terms of preparation of entrepreneurs and producers in Srpska to export their products to Russia.
“People who are familiar with import rules, standards, and who are even included in the distribution of certain goods in Russia, are here today,” Dodik said.
He said that this visit should set certain relations which would lead to a special trade arrangement between Republika Srpska and St. Petersburg, which has more than 5.5 million residents.
He said that St. Petersburg has a significant need for food, particularly fruit, vegetable and meat, as well as for industrial products, primarily food, and partially products of the metals industry.
Dodik said that the business delegation from St. Petersburg will speak with Republika Srpska businessmen in the Republika Srpska Chamber of Commerce about Srpska’s potentials, rules and standards for exports of goods to Russia.
“Our people do not have enough knowledge about this since most often a third party from the region takes our goods to sell them in the Russian market. Now we have an opportunity to do it ourselves directly,” Dodik said.
He noted that this is why a meeting in the Republika Srpska Chamber of Commerce is important since the Chamber of Commerce gathers people who are interested in the economic cooperation, from export of fruit, lumber, textile, to metal products, in which Russians are interested.
Dodik expressed his gratitude to the business delegation from St. Petersburg and said that he will soon visit this city and that Republika Srpska will attend an All-Slavic Fair in December where it will present its potentials.