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01 August 2022, 09:03

Belarus develops import substitution in partnership with Russia, other EAEU states

MINSK, 1 August (BelTA) – Amid sanctions Belarus is developing import substitution in partnership with Russia and other EAEU countries, Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Yuri Chebotar said in an interview to Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“In Q1 2022 Belarus produced $2.7 billion of import substitution products. The figure is likely to make up $6.5 billion in H1 2022,” said Yuri Chebotar. Because of the Western sanctions the import substitution issue has become particularly relevant. High on the agenda is to build new logistic chains and provide enterprises with component parts. “We studied the areas where we could do with our own forces and resources. Our academic and higher education institutions also took part in this work: they have the necessary competencies to back up the supply of components,” the first deputy minister said.

Belarus and Russia are working together on import substitution projects. “The two countries actively work in this area, hold constant negotiations. In principle, the pool of such projects has been defined - there are slightly over 10 of them. We have already worked out projects to the total amount of $1.3 billion. They are primarily important for the engineering industry. We are talking about our own casting and expanding the production of various components for agricultural machinery. There is a great demand in the market today for logging equipment. According to our estimates, these projects will help us replace the imports in Belarus and Russia by $300-400 million each,” the representative of the Economy Ministry said.

Support is provided to enterprises engaged in import substitution projects. The Development Bank has already financed more than 30 projects for nearly Br20 million. It is also looking for partner banks to participate in this work.

“Business is very active. Many have competences, and they are ready to offer then to our major industrial enterprises, which are looking for alternative suppliers because of logistical difficulties. The Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange has set up an electronic import substitution platform. The approximate results over the past two months are impressive - more than 4,000 transactions worth Br30 million,” Yuri Chebotar said.

Import substitution is also developing in cooperation with partners from the EAEU. “We have developed a special website of projects that our partners promote today. This is more than 180 projects. The website contains Belarusian projects as well. Our last initiative on industrial cooperation is the Eurasian electric bus. We are talking about developing an electric bus on the basis of automotive components from the Eurasian Economic Union countries. We are actively working on this topic. Our partners have supported the idea,” said the first deputy economy minister.

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