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Belarus prime minister dissatisfied with export situation

Economy 15.10.2019 | 16:20
Sergei Rumas
Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – The situation with export in January-August 2019 is complicated and cannot be described as satisfactory. Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the statement at the session of the Council of Ministers' Presidium held on 15 October to discuss ways to increase and diversify export, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Rumas believes: “The situation resulting from the eight months is complicated and cannot satisfy us. Export was below the level registered in the same period of last year. The [merchandise export] growth rate amounted to 96.9%. The performance of ministers, oblast governors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and heads of diplomatic missions abroad is unsatisfactory.”

The export growth rate stands at 100.9% if the export of oil-related products is disregarded. According to the prime minister, it is no reason to be complacent.

Preliminary statistics to estimate the performance of the national economy in January-September 2019 became available on 14 October (101% in January-September according to preliminary figures). “The figure is low despite state support and assurances of heads of ministries that the approved plans will be fulfilled. How can export rise without an increase in production? These matters are interrelated. Executives and officials should bear responsibility for their statements and commitments,” the head of government underlined. Sergei Rumas instructed First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Aleksandr Turchin to prepare a session of the Council of Ministers to discuss national economy performance in January-September and analyze all the promises heads of government agencies and enterprises had given during government meetings. Actions of these executives and officials will be evaluated. The session is supposed to take place in early November.

Belarus has still been unable to evenly distribute export flows between shipments to the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union, and other countries. The share of the Eurasian Economic Union has increased while the share of the European Union has dropped. The shift is attributed to the oil situation, particularly with regard to the European market, however, it is not the only reason, Sergei Rumas noted.

The head of government pointed out that Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad are supposed to play a most important role in efforts to diversify export between regions and countries. However, 37 out of 57 Belarusian diplomatic institutions abroad have failed to hit their assigned merchandise export targets while 15 institutions have done so for the second year in a row. “Most of the diplomatic missions have no well-reasoned explanations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has failed to respond to the situation either,” Sergei Rumas added.

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