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Opinions & Interviews

16 Dec 2016

Belarus, UAE encouraged to boost trade cooperation

Belarus, UAE encouraged to boost trade cooperation

MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – Belarus and the United Arab Emirates should expand their trade and economic cooperation considerably, Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky said as he met with a delegation from the UAE led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash on 16 December, BelTA has learned.

“Given the high level of our bilateral foreign policy cooperation, it is time for us to strengthen our trade and economic cooperation significantly. We can focus on different areas, from supplies of Belarus-made machinery to deliveries of food products,” Vasily Matyushevsky noted.

He pointed out that Belarus views the UAE as a priority economic partner in the Middle East. “Belarus values the level of our political trust and dialogue. We appreciate the openness and impartiality of UAE’s policy towards Belarus and hold a similar position with respect to this country,” Vasily Matyushevsky stated.

Belarus, UAE encouraged to boost trade cooperationThe official said that the visit of the UAE delegation to Minsk is very timely, as it will contribute to the implementation of the agreements reached during the recent visit of the Belarusian head of state to the United Arab Emirates. “It is with great pleasure that we note that the visit of the Belarusian leader, which we consider as quite fruitful, once again attested to the high level of trust and sincere friendship between our peoples. Our task is to maintain the favorable conditions for consistent development of our cooperation in all fields,” Vasily Matyushevsky stressed.

The First Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that effective instruments have been established to strengthen the bilateral ties between Belarus and the United Arab Emirates, from joint intergovernmental committees to consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs. The business council of the chambers of commerce and industry also contributes to the development of the relations.

Belarus, UAE encouraged to boost trade cooperationThe diplomatic relations between Belarus and the UAE were established on 20 October 1992.

In 2015 the bilateral trade totaled $29.7 million, with the Belarusian export making up $25 million. Social goods accounted for 47.5% of the exports. Belarus’ major exports were petroleum products ($3.5 million), potash ($1.8 million), synthetic fiber ($1.3 million), tractors and tractor trucks ($0.9 million), and trucks ($0.5 million). In 2015, the list of exports featured a total of 121 commodities. Import from the UAE was $4.7 million last year. The country supplied tea, ethylene polymers, and fabrics from synthetic fibers to Belarus. In January-October 2016 Belarus' exports to the UAE amounted to $20.157 million, up 23.6% over the same period a year earlier.

Last year, the UAE invested $29 million in the real economy and banking sector of Belarus, including $10.6 million of net FDI (a 6.8-time increase). There are 20 UAE-funded companies in Belarus.

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