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2 Sep 2021

Belarus seeks to liberalize trade in services, access Chinese online platforms

Belarus seeks to liberalize trade in services, access Chinese online platforms

MINSK, 2 September (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko delivered a video address at the Global Trade in Services Summit in Beijing on 2 September, BelTA has learned.

“Over the years of strong friendship between Belarus and China we have time and again seen that Beijing has been pursuing a consistent policy aimed at uniting many states within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative on the principles of honest, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation. The challenges related to the pandemic and other global threats have only made this cooperation stronger,” the Belarusian leader said.

He stressed that holding the international fair in this complicated time is a very important and symbolic step of the People’s Republic of China as closed borders, tourism decline, the disruption of logistics chains and higher protectionism, colossal pressure on the healthcare system, the cancellation of international cultural events have become an unprecedented test for the services market.

At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the crisis had spurred the development of digital technologies and had given a certain impetus to the quality transformation of the traditional services sector. “In this context we are impressed by China’s advanced experience in the development and application of distant learning services, online healthcare and diagnostics and treatment methods, digital technologies in tourism,” the head of state said.

“Belarus is committed to promoting export and import of services. We hope to expand cooperation in the services sector with China, one of Belarus’ key partners. We prioritize joint efforts of the states to further liberalize trade in services, to eliminate barriers, and to attract investments. In recent years we have been witnessing a robust growth of global electronic commerce, including transboundary commerce, which soars by 50% every year. This instrument has become an efficient resource for the restoration of economic growth. Belarus seeks to access Chinese online platforms to promote goods and services in education, tourism, medicine,” the Belarusian president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that coronavirus had caused enormous damage to the tourism industry. “We must step up efforts to increase the volume of tourism services,” he is convinced.

According to the head of state, the world has had to deal with a global “logistical collapse”. “Thanks to the unique geographical location of Belarus, our transport infrastructure has been vigorously used as a reliable Belt and Road transit corridor. In the period from 2014 to 2020 the volume of railway container transportation on the China-Europe-China route went up 14 times. The Republic of Belarus will continue doing its best to ensure the continuous development of this route,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

In conclusion, he emphasized that Belarus will continue making a contribution to the speedy recovery of the global economy. The country will continue to promote versatile and mutually beneficial international cooperation in the services sector. The president wished the organizers of the event every success. He also wished the participants of the forum productive work.

The China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is the largest specialized forum in the country. Since 2012, it has been a platform for sharing experience in the services sector and finance, transport, logistics, IT, electronic commerce, healthcare, environmental protection, tourism, etc. This is one of the three major fairs in China alongside with the China International Import Expo and the Canton Fair.

The 2021 CIFTIS exposition is focused on the digital economy, carbon neutrality, and epidemic prevention and control.

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