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Opinions & Interviews

8 Jun 2017

Belarus hopes for cooperation with Europe in modernizing transport infrastructure

Belarus hopes for cooperation with Europe in modernizing transport infrastructure

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) – Belarus is banking on cooperation with European partners in the modernization of its transport infrastructure, Belarus’ Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said at the Ministerial Conference “Promoting Connectivity in the CEI Region: Bridging the Gap between Europe and Asia” as correlated with the new Silk Road on 8 June, BelTA has learned.

For Belarus, the presidency in the Central European Initiative in 2017 provides an opportunity to present the country’s interests in the modernization of transport infrastructure, which is to make part of the European transport system.

“We hope that Belarus’ cooperation with the European countries and international financial organizations in the transport sector will help modernize the border transport infrastructure and eliminate existing bottlenecks at these sections that restrain transport flows. Close cooperation will also promote the reconstruction of roads making part of international transport corridors and increase the travel speed on them,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

The prime minister also emphasized the need to modernize inland waterway infrastructure and create conditions for the traffic of river-sea navigation vessels from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

The Belarusian head of government believes that the investment potential of the European Union is not used in Belarus to the full. The adoption of the External Investment Plan proposed by the European Commission and also the participation in the Connecting Europe Facility may provide certain opportunities for Belarus to attract European financial resources for the implementation of transport and logistics projects. “I hope that the joint addressing of issues in the area of transport and its infrastructure will help synchronize our efforts, enhance the sustainability of the transport system on the European continent and mobility of the citizens of our countries,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

According to the PM, the CEI Ministerial Conference in Belarus fully meets the multi-pronged policy pursued by the country. Andrei Kobyakov thanked representatives of the transport, financial, banking and public organizations who have come to Belarus to exchange opinions on the development of the transport sector and its infrastructure in Eurasia. “A lot has been done in this direction. Great motorways have been built. Railways are modernized and further developed, including their electrification. Conditions have been created for an unimpeded movement of goods. However, the modern globalization level of the world economy sets forth even more complicated tasks before us in increasing the travel speed of cargo and passenger flows. The tasks need the unification of efforts of many countries,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

Minsk plays host to the Ministerial Conference on relationships and compatibility in the CEI region “Promoting Connectivity in the CEI Region: Bridging the Gap between Europe and Asia” as correlated with the new Silk Road. Thematic panel discussions are focused on the modernization of transport and logistics infrastructure in the context of the EU strategies for the development of trans-European transport corridors involving the resources of international financial institutions; facilitation of trade through the harmonization of customs, rules of origin and value appraisal procedures, tariff and non-tariff regulation, industrial, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (including in the context of building the cooperation between the EU and EAEU).

The conference is also discussing the promotion of the concept of so-called digital transport corridors through the development of paperless trade systems, mutual recognition of electronic shipping documents, online sales platforms for small and medium-sized business, cross-border digital services.

The ministerial conference is held under the aegis of Belarus’ presidency in the CEI.

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