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Opinions & Interviews

10 Nov 2016

Belarus, Ukraine agree to remove trade barriers

Belarus, Ukraine agree to remove trade barriers

MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – Belarus and Ukraine have come to terms on the removal of trade barriers. The information was released by Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko after the session of the Belarusian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation on 10 November, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Semashko said: “On the eve of the session and during the session we agreed to remove the few barriers that still stood in the way of Belarus-Ukraine trade. We have come up with a scheme to prevent the emergence of such barriers. We have decided how we are going to take care of these issues once they crop up.”

In particular, the problem with selling Belarusian cement to Ukraine has been resolved. The export of Belarusian cement to Ukraine dropped considerably in the last two years. Several regulatory documents in Ukraine are being revised to fix the problem. The step will allow avoiding formal restrictions. The competitive ability of Belarusian cement, the value for money ratio of the Belarusian product will come to the forefront, Vladimir Semashko specified.

Restrictions on supplying aircraft fuel have been removed. The restrictions were in effect for nearly six months. “It will be important for Ukraine because the market will be stabilized and prices will even drop a bit,” explained the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus.

Belarus and Ukraine also agreed to put together a roadmap to determine when and who will carry out specific measures. The two countries intend to restore the peak trade turnover of $8 billion within the next few years. The record high figure was registered in 2012. In January-September 2016 Belarus-Ukraine trade rose by 10% to $2.8 billion.

Manufacturing cooperation will remain the key avenue of Belarus-Ukraine cooperation. Six enterprises to assemble Belarusian machines and vehicles (MTZ tractors, Gomselmash harvesters, Mogilevliftmash lifts, MAZ trucks and trolleybuses) have been established in Ukraine already. “We should secure a high level of localization at the assembly enterprises — up to 50% in order to keep manufacturers in Ukraine and Belarus interested. If we talk about promoting Belarusian machines and vehicles in Ukraine, it is necessary to invest in warranty service. In the end it is necessary to offer profitable financial schemes to Ukrainian customers,” added the Deputy Prime Minister. The degree of localization of assembly enterprises in Ukraine varies from 15% to 70% depending on the type of vehicles and machines.

“Belarus and Ukraine enjoy absolute understanding of what should be done and how it should be done. We honor all the arrangements made in the last two years. Even verbal ones,” said Vladimir Semashko.

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