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Opinions & Interviews

21 Sep 2018

Belarusian parliament interested in versatile contacts with Parlatino

Belarusian parliament interested in versatile contacts with Parlatino

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) – The Belarusian parliament is interested in stepping up versatile contacts with the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich made the statement as he met with a Parlatino delegation led by its President Elias Castillo on 21 September, BelTA has learned.

The head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament underlined that steps were being taken to that effect and the steps were not pro forma. “We are genuinely interested in it because work as part of Parlatino contributes a lot to the advancement of cooperation with Latin American countries as a whole,” noted Mikhail Myasnikovich.

In 2017 Belarus’ merchandise trade with Latin American countries exceeded $1 billion, 16.3% up from the year before. The trend has continued this year. In H1 2018 trade turnover totaled $641.4 million, 18.6% up from the same period of last year. Mikhail Myasnikovich said he believes these are good figures, however, the full potential has yet to be implemented. Parliamentarians can and should make their own contribution to the advancement of trade and economic relations.

In turn, Elias Castillo confirmed that parliamentarians do indeed play a considerable role in the advancement of relations between countries, in implementing the decisions made by the heads of state and heads of government. New approaches to cooperation between parliaments as well as interaction of interparliamentary bodies were discussed during the meeting. Mikhail Myasnikovich also noted that the Belarusian parliament rather productively works with the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. The Belarusian parliament is glad that contacts between Parlatino and the CIS IPA advance vigorously. Mikhail Myasnikovich also suggested discussing prospects of partnership relations between Parlatino and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.

The Latin American Parliament delegation is expected to stay in Belarus through 24 September. Apart from official negotiations members of the delegation are expected to visit a number of industrial enterprises.

In 2016 the Belarusian parliament and Parlatino signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement gave the status of a permanent observer to the Belarusian parliament. The Latin American Parliament was established in Lima, Peru on 10 December 1964 by representatives of 14 national parliaments of Latin America countries and the Caribbean islands. Parlatino is supposed to help harmonize the legislation of Latin American countries in such fields as education, healthcare, environmental protection, and fight against illegal drugs trade. Now Parlatino includes parliamentarians from 23 countries with voting power.

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