09 April 2010, Friday, 15:54
author: Eugene Rakhimkulov
The prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation between Bashkortostan and Arab countries have become the key theme of the conference of the Bashkir-Arab Friendship Society, held in Ufa today. Representatives of the Republican authority, public organizations, Muslim clergy, business community RB and guests from Arab countries participated in the forum.
“The necessity to establish such society in Bashkortostan has ripen long ago” – the chief advisor of the President RB Marat Yamalov said – “For the last 20 years the external activity of Russian regions has grown up many times. For example the number of the countries our Republic cooperates with now has increased three times. The interaction with the countries of Islamic world is of special importance for Bashkortostan because Islam is the main constituent of culture in these countries and Islam is an inseparable part of culture in our Republic too, so it is simpler for us to find common grounds with these countries than for the majority of other Russian regions”.
The establishment of the Bashkir-Arab Friendship Society was supported by the President RB Murtaza Rakhimov. “Our Republic is located on the verge of two continents and is one of the most developed and socially favorable Russian regions” – was said in the message of welcome, sent to the participants of the conference. The trade circulation of Bashkortostan with Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Kuwait has exceeded 20 million USD in 2009. Our trade delegates in Egypt and United Arab Emirates work very productively. I am sure the Bashkir-Arab Friendship Society will give a new impulse to development of external economic relations and to preservation of culture and originality of our nations”.
Both Bashkortostan and Arab countries are interested in cooperation in trade sphere and it is important that this partnership is supported at the state level. Bashkortostan supplies some Arab countries with oil-mining and building equipment, oil-chemical, metallurgical, textile products and timber. The Arab countries in their turn export foods, building materials, clothes and fabrics to Bashkortostan.
Development of cooperation in sphere of education would be also rather promising. The majority of Arab countries face the shortage of specialists with good secular education and, correspondingly, Egyptian students, for example, may receive good education at the Bashkir institutes. But for this interaction it is necessary to establish direct contacts between Bashkortostan’s institutes and the institutes of Arab countries in sphere of students’ training and exchanging experience in scientific sphere.