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9 Apr 2018

Opinion: Being dependent on one market is not good for Belarus’ economic security

MINSK, 9 April (BelTA) – Being dependent on one market does not meet Belarus’ economic security requirements, Belarus’ First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Evdochenko said in an interview to the Direktor magazine, BelTA has learned.

He noted that Belarus is not going to withdraw from the Russian market. There are no plans to ramp up deliveries to some remote regions by reducing exports to Russia. This issue is not even on the agenda.

“We have set up the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. We work closely with our Russian partners within the framework of the CIS and the Union State. We have developed the most extensive distribution network to increase our exports of goods and services to the Russian Federation. And if providers of all countries compete for this market, why should we withdraw from it. We are aware, however, that the dependence on one market does not meet Belarus’ economic security requirements,” Andrei Evdochenko said.

Belarus’ social and economic development program by 2020 provides for the measures to diversify foreign trade with the equal distribution of exports across the markets of the EAEU-EU-other countries. “We are planning to meet this goal not by reducing our share in the Russian market but through ensuring a faster increase of exports to the EU and other countries. We have opportunities for this,” the first deputy minister said.

As for the geographic diversification, he took note of Belarus’ successes on the markets of Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. In 2017, the export of Belarusian goods to the above-mentioned states totaled $3.19 billion, up 10.6%.

In 2017, Belarus exported goods to 18 new countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Nepal, Djibouti, Madagascar, Guinea Bissau, Swaziland. Belarus’ total exports to these countries reached $3.1 million (mainly through potash fertilizers, condensed milk, and paper products).

Some of Belarus’ traditional exports reached new markets: potash fertilizers (Puerto Rico, USA, Brunei Darussalam, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Swaziland); tractors and truck tractors (Zambia, Madagascar); condensed milk, milk powder and cream (Oman, Nepal); timber (Gambia).

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