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Opinions & Interviews

13 Feb 2015

Matyushevsky: Belarus eager to step up economic cooperation with France

Matyushevsky: Belarus eager to step up economic cooperation with France

MINSK, 13 February (BelTA) – Belarus would like to see France as one of the leading economic partners in Europe, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky said as he met with head of the bilateral relations service at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance Sandrine Gaudin on 13 February, BelTA has learned.

The first vice premier noted that the level of trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and France is still lagging behind the level of cooperation with other leading European countries. “For example, the trade turnover between Belarus and France made up about $534 million in 2014. At the same time, the bilateral trade with Germany was about $4.1 billion, with the United Kingdom - $3.3 billion, with Italy - $2.2 billion. I think that we can and should do our best to reach this level of economic relations,” the first vice premier said. He assured that the Belarusian side is ready to step up efforts in this field and expressed hope that French partners will do the same.

Vasily Matyushevsky noted with satisfaction that there has been certain progress in the Belarusian-French relations recently. The first session of the Belarusian-French joint commission for economic cooperation is a bright testimony to the fact. “The diverse agenda of the first session and a big number of participants prove that this forum is extremely important,” the first vice premier said. In his opinion, the success of the session could be consolidated by the visit of the French minister of foreign trade to Belarus who supported the idea to establish the commission.

The Belarusian-French business forum took place on 12 February. “I hope that the agreements which were concluded during the events will be a strong stimulus for the development of our joint projects. The main objective is to support this initiative,” Vasily Matyushevsky said.

Sandrine Gaudin, who is the co-chairman of the Belarusian-French joint commission for economic cooperation, agreed that the level of cooperation between the two states could be much higher. At the same time, she remarked that the first business forum was a success.

First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky was Belarus’ representative in the commission.

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