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* Belarus company to establish a tractor assembly plant in Sri Lanka
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 11:20 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 17, Minsk: Officials of a tractor manufacturing plant in Belarus and Sri Lankan government will finalize negotiations next month to establish a tractor assembly plant in Sri Lanka.

Officials of Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ) expect to complete the negotiations on the establishment of an assembly plant in Sri Lanka in March, the Belarus national news agency BelTA reported.

The MTZ has said that the final round of negotiations on the joint plant project will be held in March this year during a meeting between the MTZ top executives and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Establishment of a tractor assembly plant has been discussed during President Rajapaksa's state visit to Belarus in August 2013.

During the visit, the two sides had agreed to set up a joint venture to assemble agricultural machinery in Sri Lanka.

The MTZ said the next step in establishing the business relationship was a demonstration of the Belarusian machinery before the Sri Lankan farmers and interested buyers.

"We had an open dialogue and clarified the technical requirements for specific models for Sri Lankan partners. It primarily included the tractors designed to work in rice fields and small farms," the MTZ press service noted.

Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa has already confirmed the intention of the government to purchase the first 1,500 tractors produced by the assembly plant under the government agricultural development program.

The parties also have agreed on the visit of the Belarusian constructors to the farm mechanization research center at the Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka for further discussion of the specifications of tractor and tractor sets indented for the region.

MTZ specialists also met with technical specialists of the Sri Lankan company Euronippon International (Pvt) Ltd on the issues of the operation and maintenance of MTS equipment.

Minsk Tractor Works founded in 1946 is affiliated with the Belarusian Ministry of Industry.

MTZ produces more than 60 models and modifications of tractors and machines in over 100 versions and configurations for all climatic and operational conditions.

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