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Belarus, Italy set to increase mutual trade

Economy 08.10.2019 | 15:24
Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi
Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi

MINSK, 8 October (BelTA) – Belarus and Italy plan to considerably boost mutual trade and implement joint projects in energy and resource-saving, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Belarus Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi said as he spoke at the Italy-Belarus Forum on Green Economy on 8 October, BelTA has learned.

“In 2018, the trade between our countries totaled €700 million. We expect to reach €800 million this year and €1 billion in 2020. Today's forum, which has gathered 35 Italian and over 150 Belarusian companies, is an important step in cooperation. I hope that participants will conclude profitable contracts,” said Mario Giorgio Stefano Baldi.

According to him, Belarus and Italy are not rich in natural resources, gas and oil deposits. That is why the two countries need to produce their own energy, using the capabilities of the sun, wind and waste processing. Italy is ready to share its experience and technologies.

Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich said that the parties need to restore the previous level of trade and economic relations, as well as to balance the supply. “We need to look for niches, advance our products to the EU market. I believe that there is every chance to return to the mutual trade of $2 billion which the two countries used to have,” he stressed.

According to Vladimir Ulakhovich, Belarus might be of interest to Italian investors due to its developed infrastructure, highly qualified personnel, stable doing-business conditions, and the possibility to promote products in the EAEU market.

Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko stressed that the countries are interested in strengthening cooperation. In 2018, mutual trade went up by 15% compared to 2017, and it is necessary to gather pace. Over the past two years, more than 60 new enterprises with Italian capital have been set up in Belarus. Belarusian metal products, potash fertilizers, synthetic fibers, furniture and its parts, tanned leather, wood, and linen fabrics are in demand on the Italian market. Belarus mainly exports high-tech products from Italy.

“The governments of the two countries are seeking to improve the mechanisms for promoting business initiatives. The countries have established channels for systemic interaction and also a bilateral intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. Current issues are addressed quickly and effectively. Belarus is open to large-scale and multifaceted cooperation with Italy in all areas. Any proposals aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, development of business projects will not be left without attention,” Igor Petrishenko said.

The Italy-Belarus Forum on Green Economy is held by the Italian embassy in Belarus, the agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian companies (ICE), the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Confindustria Belarus. Participants of the meeting are discussing prospects for expanding bilateral trade and economic cooperation in green economy and other areas, with a focus on the use of Italian investments, opportunities for Belarusian companies to tap into Italian advanced achievements in industry, and the use of renewable energy sources. The focus is also on the development of smart cities, the introduction of energy-efficient technologies in civil and industrial construction, and agriculture.

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