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8 Jun 2016

Russia President suggests increasing imports from Belarus

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) – It is necessary to increase the supplies of Belarusian products to Russia, President Vladimir Putin said at the third Belarus-Russia Forum of Regions on 8 June, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus is our key economic partner. It is our main trading partner in the CIS. The Russian market accounts for half of Belarusian exports. However, the figure can be even higher,” Vladimir Putin said.

The Russian leader believes that Belarus will be able to supply even more goods to Russia if it takes certain steps to protect the interests of its agricultural producers. “We should use the current situation to boost production, including to better meet the needs of the Russian market. If we do not do this today, if we fail to stop the inflow of products subject to sanctions, it will be more difficult for Belarusian producers to operate on the Russian market. We want to have apples and other farm produce, meat, and milk made in Belarus rather than goods that only transit through its territory,” Vladimir Putin said. He believes this is in the interests of Belarusian manufacturers.

The Russian head of state noted that despite the decline in mutual trade caused by commodity price volatility and currency fluctuations in 2015, Belarus and Russia managed to put the trade back on track in 2016. In Q1 2016, the trade by volume went up by 2.6%. Russian exports increased by 1.6%, the Belarusian ones grew by 4.4%.

Mutual capital flows are also growing. In January-March 2016, Russian investments in Belarus exceeded $1.5 billion. Today in Belarus there 961 companies with 100% Russian capital.

Vladimir Putin added that such meetings between businessmen and representatives of regional authorities of the two countries are playing an increasingly important role in the relations between Belarus and Russia.

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