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Opinions & Interviews

30 Apr 2019

Ambassador: Belarus-Sweden trade, economic cooperation evolving rapidly

Ambassador: Belarus-Sweden trade, economic cooperation evolving rapidly

MINSK, 30 April (BelTA) - Relations between Belarus and Sweden in trade and economy have been evolving rapidly, Ambassador of Sweden to Belarus Christina Johannesson told the media, BelTA has learned.

Last year the bilateral trade rose by 35%. “The first months of this year saw rapid growth as well, which is very nice. It means that more Swedish companies see opportunities in Belarus,” the ambassador said. The export of services has been one of contributors to growth. A special interest is in the Belarusian IT-sector, according to the diplomat. two Swedish companies have registered with the Hi-Tech Park just recently.

The embassy regularly organizes trips to Belarusian regions and invites business to take part in them, Christina Johannesson said. “We are accompanied by a small group of business representatives but these are the ones who have specific questions to specific Belarusian enterprises,” she added. The next trip is planned for the autumn. Belarus is set to present its business potential in Stockholm in the autumn too. “We still don't have all the details worked out. But this shows that growing trade will entail a growth of interest in the country on the part of business. We all know that no ambassador or politician can get business go somewhere or conclude a transaction,” the ambassador said.

According to her, new policy documents will start working in Sweden in the autumn. In this regard, there is every reason to expect an increase in the interaction between Belarus and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation (SIDA). With the assistance of this organization Belarus has implemented large economic projects to upgrade water supply entities in five Belarusian cities. Sweden intends to continue to support projects in environment and climate.

The diplomat welcomed the decision of Belarus to grant visa-free access for visitors from a number of countries, underlining that this too will contribute to the growth of interest in the country on the part of business. “Belarus’ step towards visa-free entry (first 5 days, then 30 days) is a brilliant step, and really contributes to the growth of tourist flow,” she said.

When asked about the possible participation of Sweden in the environmental impact assessment of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, Christina Johannesson said that Swedish Radiation Safety Authority  already cooperates with the Belarusian authorities in Gomel. “It is ready to continue to work with a view to ensuring maximum transparency. We can offer our know-hows, technology, and expertise. If these can prove useful, we will be happy,” she added.

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