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Opinions & Interviews

25 Mar 2016

Slovenia invited to use Belarus as gateway to EEU market

Slovenia invited to use Belarus as gateway to EEU market

MINSK, 25 March (BelTA) – Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov invited Slovenia to use Belarus as a gateway to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as he met with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec on 25 March, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus is one of the founders of the Eurasian Economic Union. We are ready to use our EEU membership to bolster the Belarusian-Slovenian trade and economic cooperation and help Slovenia build ties with other countries of the union,” Andrei Kobyakov stressed.

In his words, Belarus is eager to intensify cooperation with Slovenia and establish mutually beneficial partner ties with the European Union.

Andrei Kobyakov emphasized that he views the current visit as a manifestation of Slovenia’s readiness for further intensification of bilateral cooperation, first of all in trade and economy.

“We believe that our bilateral trade can be increased, as the current level of $80 million is not very high. There were better times in the history of our relations. We would like to pursue the ambitious goal to restore the high level of trade cooperation we had some time ago and even exceed it,” the Belarusian Prime Minister said.

He emphasized that the Belarusian side seeks to involve Slovenian companies into the country’s economy. “Consumers believe that the quality of Slovenian products is high. However, in Belarus there are few joint Belarusian-Slovenian enterprises,” Andrei Kobyakov pointed out.

Slovenia invited to use Belarus as gateway to EEU marketHe believes that Belarus and Slovenia have good prospects for cooperation in power engineering, construction, machine-building, and agriculture. “We are interested in developing our tourism industry. We would like Slovenian people to see that Belarus is a very hospitable country,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

The Belarusian Prime Minister asked Karl Erjavec to pass on his regards to his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar and an invitation to visit Belarus. “We would be glad to welcome him in Belarus,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

For his part, Karl Erjavec thanked the Belarusian side for hospitality. “We have seen that both sides would like to maintain and strengthen ties,” he said.

In 2015, the trade between Belarus and Slovenia totaled $80.1 million, down by 26.5% from 2014. Belarus’ exports stood at $8.9 million, down by 40.3%. Imports dropped by 24.8% to $71.2 million. Belarus had a foreign trade deficit of $62.3 million, down by $17.6 million.

Belarus’ major exports to Slovenia were uncombed synthetic fiber, ferrous metal wire without electrical insulation, and electrical equipment for starting of internal-combustion engines.

Belarus imported pharmaceuticals, paints and varnishes based on synthetic polymers, lifting and loading machinery, foodstuffs, electrical machines and equipment, vaccines, blood plasma, blood, and pre-assembled building structures.

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