The visit to Vitebsk was the ambassador's first official visit to regions outside Minsk. Ambassador Jacqueline Perkins chose Vitebsk Oblast because of its location as the region borders both the European Union and Russia.
There are great prospects for cooperation between the United Kingdom and Vitebsk Oblast. The main areas include economy and trade. However, it is important not only to strengthen political and economic ties, but also to advance cultural relations, Ambassador Jacqueline Perkins noted.
Vitebsk Oblast First Vice Governor Oleg Matskevich called to boost trade between Vitebsk Oblast and the United Kingdom. He also invited the ambassador and UK companies to take part in the international economic forum Innovations. Investments. Prospects that is annually held in Vitebsk.
Andrei Dukhovnikov, the director of the Vitebsk Center of Contemporary Art and the Museum of History of the Vitebsk People's Art School, said that he was contacted by famous architect Tszwai So, the author of the Belarusian Memorial Chapel in London. “He proposed to set up a platform for cooperation between European architects, Vitebsk artists, and our museum. There is an idea of a project to organize a ten-day plein-air/symposium. The project may be implemented in 2020-2021. The Belarusian Embassy in the UK has pledged support for the project,” Andrei Dukhovnikov added. Ambassador Jacqueline Perkins assured that the UK Embassy in Belarus is ready to look into this proposal and assist with the project.
In 2019, the trade between Vitebsk Oblast and the United Kingdom totaled $7.1 million. Major exports of the Belarusian region were lubricant additives, linen, and glass fiber. Seven organizations with the British capital operate in Vitebsk Oblast.