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Opinions & Interviews

7 Feb 2017

Ambassador: Belarus’ visa-free policy will contribute to stronger economic ties

Ambassador: Belarus’ visa-free policy will contribute to stronger economic ties

BREST, 7 February (BelTA) – Belarus’ visa-free policy will contribute to the development of economic ties, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Belarus Martin Aberg said as he met with representatives of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee on 7 February, BelTA has learned.

“I believe that the changes to Belarus’ visa policy, the five-day visa-free stay are very important for further sustainable development of economic ties. This will not reflect right away in the trade or tourism relations. It takes time to develop them. Still, this actually removes barriers for coming here,” the diplomat pointed out. He noted that it is economy that makes the relations between countries and regions stable. “When I came to Belarus, I was slightly surprised to see that our trade is so low. The figures are really low. We have things to work on,” the ambassador said.

Anatoly Lis, Chairman of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee, said that there are three companies with Swedish capital registered in Brest Oblast. “So far, we do not fully tap into the potential of these enterprises and the region in general. In January-November 2016, the trade between Brest Oblast and Sweden dropped by $1.8 million against the same period of 2015 to $5.3 million. What we are most disappointed with is our export performance which is not very good. We sold only $300,000 worth of goods,” the governor noted.

Brest Oblast sells to Sweden three-wheel bicycles and kick scooters, products for metal casting, dinnerware and kitchen appliances.

“We would like to boost our furniture exports. Pinskdrev company has supplied trial batches of plywood. However, bearing in mind the vast range of products that they make, I believe we can consider exporting other goods. Kobrin-made toys are sold to over 40 countries. Brest Oblast manufacturers are ready to increase the supplies of all products that are of interest to Swedish consumers. We are also ready to consider matters related to the entry of Swedish capital into our market and the Free Economic Zone Brest,” Anatoly Lis said.

Ambassador Martin Aberg attended a workshop on the Smart City concept and the Swedish SymbioCity urban management model in Brest on 7 February. The diplomat also opened the Day of Swedish Cinema. He has plans to visit water and wastewater treatment facilities and two companies with Swedish capital on 8 February.

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