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Opinions & Interviews

27 Apr 2017

Economic diplomacy described as Belarus’ hallmark

Economic diplomacy described as Belarus’ hallmark

MINSK, 27 April (BelTA) – Economic diplomacy has become one of the hallmarks of Belarus, BelTA learned from the latest interview Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei gave to the Belaruskaya Dumka magazine in view of the 25th anniversary of Belarus’ independent foreign policy.

The interview reads that with its open economy Belarus has managed to secure a string of accomplishments in the export of merchandise and services in the face of severe competition on foreign markets. Today economic diplomacy is a hallmark of the Belarusian state, Vladimir Makei believes.

Belarus is one of the world’s leaders in the export of trucks, tractors, road construction machines, and municipal vehicles. Belarus makes 17% of all the harvesters and 6% of all the tractors. The market share of the Belarusian haul truck manufacturer BelAZ stands at 30%. Belarus accounts for 4.6% of the world’s butter production, 1.4% of the world’s milk output, and 2.4% of the world’s output of dairy products.

Belarus is renowned for brand names like MTZ, MAZ, and BelAZ as well as new-generation mechanical engineering products such as railway cars made in association with the Swiss company Stadler and Belarusian-Chinese cars Geely. Products of Belarus’ Hi-Tech Park enjoy solid demand in the world. Without an exaggeration many of them enjoy universal acclaim and popularity.

For the sake of systematically bolstering foreign economic activities the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with other government agencies has developed a national program to support and develop export in 2016-2020 as well as a roadmap to implement the program. A smoothly operating commodity distribution network has been built abroad in the last few years. The number of dealerships and service centers of Belarusian exporters has increased just the way transnational corporations work to establish such product promotion systems on international markets. At present the commodity distribution network comprises 339 commercial entities with Belarusian charter capital or with a share of Belarusian capital in 40 countries. There are over 90 assembly enterprises in 17 countries.

Vigorous negotiations on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization were resumed in 2016. If the process proceeds favorably, Belarus may soon join the WTO, Vladimir Makei noted.

The Belarusian head of state has given instructions to secure a stable export configuration by 2020 by evenly distributing export shipments between three markets — the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union, and the so-called distant-arc countries. “Certainly, the task is not an easy one. It will require huge effort on the part of diplomats and Belarusian companies with their marketing divisions as well as all the interested parties. However, it will be worth it: success will allow balancing Belarus’ foreign trade, reducing the country’s dependence on the state of economic affairs in partner states. It is difficult to overestimate the role that Belarusian diplomatic missions play in achieving this goal as well as a number of other political and economic goals,” Vladimir Makei stressed.

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