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Opinions & Interviews

30 Oct 2015

Rusy: Terms of accession to WTO more important than accession itself

Rusy: Terms of accession to WTO more important than accession itself

MINSK, 30 October (BelTA) – Terms of accession to the WTO are more important than the accession itself, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy said at a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

"We have been working on the WTO accession for a long time, and not only within the agricultural sector. The important thing is not the WTO accession but the terms of accession,” said Mikhail Rusy.

According to him, here we need to consider the conditions on which other members of the Eurasian Economic Union join the WTO. According to Mikhail Rusy, Kazakhstan joined the WTO on unfavorable terms. "We estimate the risks and threats that the accession of our EEU partners may entail," he added.

The Belarusian side has identified the product groups which may face some risks when the country joins the WTO. These are more than 1,500 names. It includes a shorter critical list. The government is concerned over possible risks in respect of skimmed milk powder and sugar,” said the Vice Premier.

In turn, Minister of Agriculture and Food Leonid Zayats noted that when joining the WTO it is important to raise the level of productivity and competitiveness. If Belarus joins the WTO, and imported cheese and butter that will appear on the shelves of our stores will be cheaper, then surely the country will incur losses. To prevent this, we need to work on raising the efficiency of the economy,” the Minister said.

Leonid Zayats also noted the need to continue to address the problem of the debt load in the agriculture sector.

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