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Opinions & Interviews

2 Nov 2017

Private sector’s opinion important in negotiations on Belarus’ accession to WTO

Private sector’s opinion important in negotiations on Belarus’ accession to WTO

MINSK, 2 November (BelTA) – The opinion of the private sector plays a major role in negotiations on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich on 2 November.

Vladimir Ulakhovich said: “Two technical aid programs work with regard to Belarus. They are meant to train experts and specialists to work in line with WTO rules. It is very important to understand conditions of doing business in the WTO. It is one of the support instruments. Due to accession it will be certainly necessary to create some dialogue platform. For instance, in the Russian Federation, which is a WTO member, the Mercury Club has been created as part of the chamber of commerce and industry where difficulties in running a business are still discussed. These discussions adjust the stance, including the stance of the government, to an extent. It is very important.”

In his words, Belarus’ accession to the WTO poses certain challenges for light industry and mechanical engineering industry. Vulnerabilities of small and medium businesses and ways to support them should be discussed during the negotiations. “Belarus’ accession to the WTO is an important event for all the economic players. It will give us access to new markets and will increase trade figures. Our consumers will benefit because more liberal access to the Belarusian market will be enabled among other things. We will have to take even better care of the quality of services and products. The competition will become tougher and consumers will benefit once more. But for the private sector it will be a challenge that will motivate companies to make competitive products that sell well,” said the chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Vladimir Ulakhovich stressed that the invigoration of Belarus’ accession to the WTO had enhanced the country’s image in the international scene. “The Belarusian economy is an open one. We are ready to discuss all the issues. It is very important to protect our own national interests, too. Some countries, which joined the WTO automatically, were not always able to protect branches of their economies. This is why it is very important to clearly stipulate our national economic interests during the talks and come to terms with the partners,” said Vladimir Ulakhovich.

On 2 November Kemal Madenoglu met with representatives of Belarusian non-governmental organizations, which are members of the interagency commission on Belarus’ accession to the WTO, and with representatives of business circles at premises of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The involvement of the organizations and business associations in the negotiation process and WTO membership’s influence on small and medium business were high on the agenda of the meeting.

 

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