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7 Jun 2016

Creation of Belarus-Russia common labor market meets national interests of two states

MINSK, 7 June (BelTA) – The creation of the common labor market between Belarus and Russia fully meets the national interests of the two countries, head of the employment policy department of the Labor and Social Security Ministry of Belarus Oleg Tokun said at the breakout session, Belarusian-Russian cooperation in labor relations and social security of the population, of the 3rd Belarus-Russia Forum of Regions on 7 June, BelTA has learned.

According to the representative of the ministry, unemployment co-exists with a deficit of highly-qualified personnel both in Belarus and Russia. “The creation of the common labor market fully meets the national interests of the two countries: the wider the market is, the more opportunities its actors have in addressing issues related to the imbalance of the workforce demand and supply, including at the level of regions. The common labor market is, first of all, a freedom of movement. Today, citizens of Belarus and Russia have not just equal rights for the freedom of movement and the choice of residence in the Union State, but also enjoy equal rights for employment, remuneration of labor, working and rest hours, labor protection and working conditions, as well as other issues of the labor relations. Besides, Belarus and Russia concluded an agreement on pension provision of migrants. The agreements between Belarus and Russia also cover the sectors close to the labor market, including healthcare and education services for migrant workers and their families,” said Oleg Tokun.

Globalization, economic integration, rapid technological development, demographic changes and intensification of migration processes are the main factors of the modern labor market. “The development of the common labor market of Belarus and Russia has been high on the agenda almost since the Union State was founded. Analogous production technologies, absence of the language barrier, simplified employment regulations make the Russian market attractive for Belarusians and the Belarusian market for Russians. A number of documents adopted some time ago made the basis for the development of the Union State common labor market. They helped regulate the similar relations within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union,” Oleg Tokun stressed.

The social and demographic situation in Belarus and Russia are largely the same: the ageing and decreasing population and, hence, reducing manpower resources. The retiring workers are replaced by the youth who is considerably smaller in number. Given negative demographic trends, the issues related to the regulation of the foreign labor migration come to the forefront.

Belarus holds a special geographic position in the region, being placed at the crossroad of migration flows and also being a country of migration destination, origin and transit. “Optimal and efficient migration policy that takes into account the policy of economic development can and must become an effective instrument in replenishing labor resources, improving the demographic situation, strengthening the social and economic potential of the country,” the representative of the Labor and Social Security Ministry said. It is worth mentioning that the inflow of migrant workers to Belarus is on a constant increase.

Belarus’ state policy for 2016-2020 will be aimed at ensuring efficient employment, enhancing the competitive ability of the working force on the labor market. Dedicated measures of the labor market policy will help keep unemployment within socially permissible limits. The level of registered unemployment should not exceed 2% of the active workforce by 2020, Oleg Tokun said.

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