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Opinions & Interviews

11 Oct 2018

Call for removing all trade barriers between Belarus, Ukraine

Call for removing all trade barriers between Belarus, Ukraine

GOMEL, 11 October (BelTA) – Belarus and Ukraine need to reduce trade barriers to zero, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said at the 26th session of the Belarus-Ukraine intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation that is taking place in Gomel on 11 October, BelTA has learned.

Igor Lyashenko reminded that the presidents of Belarus and Ukraine set a task to increase the bilateral trade to $8 billion in 2019. The implementation of this task will depend on the efforts of the commission, among other things. The vice-premier deems it necessary to gradually remove all barriers in mutual trade and to promote fair competition. “The task set by the heads of state requires the search for new growth points and expansion of partner ties and promising joint projects,” he said.

The ongoing meeting is taking place in the run-up to the First Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine, Igor Lyashenko noted. “This fact makes our work particularly important. We should thoroughly discuss the current state of Belarus-Russia cooperation, compare our notes and outline plans for the future,” Igor Lyashenko said.

He emphasized that the work of the intergovernmental commission became systemic. “The implementation of the agreements reached at the previous session in Kiev in July 2017 gave an impetus to the bilateral contacts in trade and economy. In particular, working groups on manufacturing, international road haulage, science and technology held a series of meetings; inter-ministerial contacts intensified,” he added.

The implementation of cooperation roadmaps in manufacturing, finances and infrastructure modernization had a positive impact on mutual trade.

At the same time Igor Lyashenko believes that there is great potential for further growth. In fact, Belarus would like to ramp up joint production of tractors and harvesters for Ukrainian farmers. Apart from that, Belarus is ready to keep helping Ukraine to refresh its fleet of municipal and passenger vehicles. Belarus is open for closer cooperation in upgrading road infrastructure. Belarusian companies are willing to offer their services in oil industry.

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister for Regional Development, Construction and Housing Gennady Zubko deems it necessary to specify plans and targets not only for 2019, but also to elaborate a roadmap for 2020-2021. He believes that promotion of interregional and inter-sectoral cooperation and contacts in manufacturing industry, transport, information and other sectors can be highly instrumental for fulfilling the tasks facing the two countries. Gennady Zubko noted that Belarus remains a reliable partner for Ukraine.

The agenda of the session of the intergovernmental commission features about a dozen issues related to the preparation for the First Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine, as well as promotion of cooperation in trade, economy, industry, petrochemical sector, power engineering, agriculture, food production, customs and border security.

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