GRODNO, 23 May (BelTA) – Tourism potential of Grodno Oblast and transboundary cooperation between Grodno Oblast and regions of Lithuania will be in the spotlight during the third Belarusian-Lithuanian forum in Grodno on 29-30 May, BelTA learned from representatives of the Foreign Trade Department of the Economy Committee of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.
The Lithuanian delegation will include about 50 people. Those are representatives of business circles, the tourism department, heads of administrations of a number of Lithuanian cities and towns, diplomats. The Lithuanian delegation will be led by Adviser to the Prime Minister of Lithuania Antanas Vinkus.
The forum will focus on presenting tourism opportunities of Belarus and Grodno Oblast. In particular, there are plans to discuss proposals for developing joint programs within the framework of Belarus-Lithuania transboundary cooperation program. The program of the forum is still in development but already includes presentations of promising avenues of potential participation of Lithuanian business in the free economic zone Grodnoinvest as well as opportunities for sanatorium treatment and recreation in Grodno Oblast.
The plenary session of the forum will take place in the agritourism estate Korobchitsy on 29 May. A tour combined with a presentation of the Neman River basin water tourism potential has been scheduled. Plans have been made to discuss prospects of using transboundary tourism potential of the Augustow Canal. The forum will continue on 30 May in an interregional format. Delegations of Lithuanian towns, cities and districts will work in the districts of Grodno Oblast with which they have signed cooperation agreements.
The forum is supposed to give an incentive to the development and enhancement of trade, economic, tourism, and cultural cooperation between regions of the two countries.
BelTA has been told that at present there are 133 economic operators with a share of Lithuanian capital in Grodno Oblast. In 2013 direct Lithuanian investments in Grodno Oblast’s economy totaled $25.8 million, including $6.2 million as net investments.
In Q1 2014 Grodno Oblast’s foreign trade with Lithuania totaled $33.9 million ($169.4 million in 2013). In January-March Grodno Oblast’s export amounted to $24.2 million ($109.5 million in 2013), with import at $9.7 million ($59.9 million).