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14 May 2020

Belarus foreign ministry optimistic about export prospects in 2020

Belarus foreign ministry optimistic about export prospects in 2020
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MINSK, 14 May (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus believes that the export targets of 2020 will be achieved despite the coronavirus pandemic that affected international trade, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Yeudachenka told reporters, BelTA has learned.

He emphasized that “coronavirus is not affecting the export program yet.” “We hope that we will be able to achieve the targets set by the government for this year,” he added.

Andrei Yeudachenka called the situation with export ‘very diverse’. “The situation varies depending on a group of products and depending on particular products within this group. The export of agricultural products and foodstuffs increased the most, by $120 million in the first quarter. The biggest growth was posted by dairy and meat products. The export of machinery, equipment and vehicles is not bad, either. The growth across this group was estimated at $55 million,” he said.

Andrei Yeudachenka welcomed progress made by the woodworking industry. “The export grew by $35 million in the first quarter on the back of increased sales of chipboard, fiberboard, plywood and furniture. The textile industry posted a $25 million growth in export,” he said.

According to Andrei Yeudachenka, the export of services is playing an important role in balancing the trade. “In the previous years transportation accounted for a significant share of exports. Now considerable growth is posted by the IT sector,” he informed. The share of services in Belarus’ export approximates 25%, up from 20-21% in the previous years.

The trade in goods shrank by 14.7% in Q1. This is largely attributed to new terms of supplies of oil and petroleum products to Belarus, and volatility on the market of potash fertilizers. The drop in export of petroleum products and potash fertilizers is estimated at about $1.3 billion. “The situation with other commodities is not bad. The export rose by 3.5% in Q1 though the target was 3.2%,” the first deputy minister said.

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