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Opinions & Interviews

1 Oct 2018

Belarus in favor of fair trade, economic architecture in Europe

Belarus in favor of fair trade, economic architecture in Europe
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

MINSK, 1 October (BelTA) – Belarus has always been in favor of building a fair, predictable and non-discriminating trade and economic architecture in Europe and other regions of the world. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement during the general debate held as part of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on 1 October, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei remarked that Belarus is located in the center of Europe. On the one hand, the country is part of the Eurasian Economic Union. On the other hand, Belarus is interested in intensive economic interaction with the European Union. At the junction of the two centers of geopolitical force, the country feels the mutual interconnection of geopolitics and geoeconomy in full measure.

“Due to the conflict in Ukraine and the growing tensions in the region, due to sanctions and counter-sanctions our country indirectly suffers considerable economic losses. Belarus is a medium-sized country with one of the world’s most open economies – we export 60-70% of the GDP – and depends heavily on foreign markets and international trade. It is one of the reasons why we have always been in favor of building a fair, predictable and non-discriminating trade and economic architecture in Europe and other regions of the world. This architecture has to take into account interests of all countries.” According to the Belarusian side, the implementation of multiple-level integration projects should be central to such architecture. Due to its geographic location Belarus is particularly interested in the rapprochement of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

“In essence our western border remains the only economic border between Lisbon and Vladivostok and possibly between Lisbon and Shanghai in the future,” pointed out Vladimir Makei. “This is why Belarus has been persistent in promoting the idea of ‘integration of integrations’ as the principle of cooperation geared towards the joint search for optimal ways of uniting economic growth and sustainable development. The achievement of goals of the Agenda for Sustainable Development with its promise to leave no one behind requires close attention and international support from middle-income countries.”

Vladimir Makei noted that advancing globalization in a way to accommodate everyone’s interests and managing it for the common good remain some of the key tasks in the modern world. However, one can see obvious difficulties with accomplishing it. “Globalization processes are accompanied by the emergence of new geopolitical and geoeconomic lines and fissures not only on the regional scale, but the global one, too. We see a peculiar civilization trap where integration requests go hand in hand with manifestations of fragmentation, protectionism, and even confrontation,” said the diplomat.

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