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Opinions & Interviews

22 Jun 2016

Export promotion named among key foreign policy goals

MOSCOW, 22 June (BelTA) – Export promotion is a key foreign policy goal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Igor Petrishenko told BelTA while commenting on the address of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress.

“First and foremost, we must recover the volume of export to the Russian Federation. We should seek to ensure comfortable conditions for our economic entities on the Russian market with no barriers, restrictions and exceptions. These are the goals the head of state talked about, and that Belarus initiated during its first presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015,” The Ambassador said.

“It is important to remove duplicating manufactures in order to avoid unnecessary competition. We need to promote a joint product created in the Eurasian Economic Union or the Union State with the Russian Federation to the markets of third countries and to carve out niches there,” the diplomat believes. These are the key aspects on which our embassy, the embassy offices in the regions of Russia and our distribution network will work more actively on making use of the opportunities that the head of state mentioned today. We need to be proactive and somewhat aggressive in promoting our exports to Russia,” the diplomat stressed.

He stressed that it is important to promote export to the so-called distant arc countries. The Belarusian Embassy in Moscow serves a link with more than 80 states, whose diplomatic missions are concurrently accredited in Belarus. “We actively cooperate with them, offer them our equipment, food, invite them to invest in our economy, implement technology transfer,” Igor Petrishenko said.

“But, of course, the core market is the Russian Federation. We need to provide support for joint ventures to make sure they should not experience any constraints with the delivery of joint products on the market of the Russian Federation. Together with Russia we must support a joint product both within the Eurasian Economic Union and outside, to back it with export support so that 8,000 Belarusian and Russian enterprises that maintain cooperation links should not feel disadvantaged in terms of government support, subsidies,” the Ambassador stressed.

The President of Belarus also spoke about Belarus’ participation in the import substitution program which Russia is implementing now. “Together with Russian partners we intend to identify the niches where we can create a highly competitive product. And, of course, attracting investments, which the head of state drew attention to, will also be among the priorities of the diplomatic mission,” Igor Petrishenko said.

Speaking about the warning made by the Belarusian head of state to Belarusian farmers that they may lose the Russian market, the Ambassador noted that the Belarusian agricultural industry has powerful export capabilities. According to him, the share of food in the Belarusian exports to Russia increased from 11% to 15% over the past two years. “This is a good indicator. It was partly thanks to the food embargo imposed by the Russian Federation,” Igor Petrishenko noted. “But the embargo also stimulated the development of the agricultural sector in Russia. That was why the head of state emphasized that the competition in Russia will increase not only with third countries, but primarily between farmers within Russia itself. Therefore, we must work very hard to keep prices low and quality high. Most importantly we should develop our own distribution network, which would help us promote our products and prevent counterfeits. This is also our common task which we must address both at the level of the institutions of the Union State, and at the level of the Eurasian Economic Commission,” Igor Petrishenko noted.

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