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Belarus, Australia set to sign agreement on sci-tech cooperation

Belarus and Australia have plans to consider signing an intergovernmental agreement on scientific and technical cooperation. The matter was discussed at a meeting of Chairman of the State Science and Technology Committee of Belarus Alexander Shumilin and Ambassador of Australia to the Russian Federation and concurrently to the Republic of Belarus Peter Tesch on 17 October, BelTA learned from the press service of the State Science and Technology Committee.

The parties discussed promising avenues for bilateral cooperation, such as healthcare, agriculture, mining industry, machine-building, information, communication and space technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, and also forest fire fighting methods and techniques.

“We need to improve our knowledge about advanced sci-tech solutions and the Belarusian science in general. We have interest in many areas of cooperation, so we should focus on the implementation of several specific projects to achieve progress,” Peter Tesch said.

For his part, Alexander Shumilin noted that Belarusian-Australian relations have great potential in science, technology and innovations. “Belarus has considerable scientific capacity in many research areas. We have something to offer to Australia, so we need to expand our scientific and technical cooperation,” Alexander Shumilin said.

The diplomatic relations between Belarus and Australia were established on 9 January 1992. Belarus opened its embassy in Australia in August 2014. The legal framework of bilateral cooperation is currently under development. The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010. A memorandum of understanding between the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Australian National University was concluded in 2010. The aviation authorities of Belarus and Australia inked an MoU in 2013. An MoU on bilateral consultations was concluded between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2013. In 2015, the Belarusian Government and the Australian Government signed an MoU on cooperation in culture and arts. Finally, the Australian National University and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus signed an agreement on scientific cooperation and interaction in research personnel training in 2015.