MINSK, 26 June (BelTA) – The second session of the Belarus-Italy intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation took place in Rome on 25 June, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Belarusian delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Evgeny Shestakov. The Italian delegation was led by Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Development Andrea Cioffi. The parties discussed bilateral trade, cooperation in the manufacturing industry, infrastructure and transport, the banking sector and finances, among other things. Belarus highlighted its preferential terms for businesses and its efforts to digitalize the economy and promote information technology. The delegations agreed to take concrete steps in order to give additional impetus to bilateral cooperation in the areas of mutual interest. The agreements were recorded in the minutes signed by Evgeny Shestakov and Andrea Cioffi at the end of the meeting.
During his visit to Rome, Evgeny Shestakov took part in the opening ceremony of a business forum organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Belarusian Embassy in Italy, the National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises (CNA), and the Italian Trade Agency. The Italian business community was informed about preferential terms of doing business in Belarus, the advantages of running joint projects and their implementation prospects.
Evgeny Shestakov met with senior officials of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises.
In 2018, Belarus-Italy trade totaled $912.7 million, up 15.2% from 2017. Belarus' exports reached $123.9 million, going up 25.9% year-on-year. Belarus' import amounted to $788.8 million, up 13.7%. The trade in services expanded by 60.7% over 2017 to reach $74.8 million in 2018 ($46.5 million in 2017). The export of Belarusian services to Italy made up $55.4 million, up 60.5%; the import was estimated at $19.4 million, up 61.3%. The bulk of export services included transport, computer, telecommunication and information services, business services, tourist services and construction services. In 2018 Italy invested $23.3 million in Belarus, up 42.7% from 2017, including $23.1 million in net investment (up 47.6%). Belarus is home to 263 Italy-funded companies.More about Economy