MOSCOW, 24 May (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to set up joint ventures in the Eurasian Economic Union member states, but most of them, with the exception of Russia, do not have the necessary conditions for this, Deputy Industry Minister of Belarus Aleksandr Yefimov said as he addressed the 2nd Eurasian Economic Forum in Moscow on May 24. He took part in the session that discussed the new industrial policy and international cooperation, BelTA has learned.
In his speech, Aleksandr Yefimov listed factors that play a key role in maintaining technological sovereignty and in reducing dependence on imports. “The first and foremost factor is the availability of own production of machinery and equipment, because technological sovereignty is impossible without this. Although machine tool industry generates less than 1% of GDP even in most developed countries, this industry is the cornerstone of technological sovereignty. The second factor is a sufficient number of domestically made goods to meet the needs of the economy and households, in other words, the lowest possible import intensity of the economy,” he said.
The third factor has to do with the level of competencies in the manufacturing industry. The deputy minister cited countries of Southeast Asia as a case in point, where the economic boom began exactly with personnel training for various industries. “From this point of view, the EAEU needs to pay attention to the exchange of best practices in science. But the exchange alone will not produce any benefits, it is necessary to find resources to promote fundamental and applied sciences, because the term “import substitution”, if we are talking about independence from imports, should already be replaced with the term “import outstripping”. Without advanced science, it is impossible to achieve import outstripping and breakthrough solutions, the introduction of modern technologies. Therefore, science is one of the key factors,” he noted.
“And the fourth factor that is expected to stimulate independence from imports and technological sovereignty is the creation of proper conditions in the EAEU market,” Aleksandr Yefimov emphasized.
In this regard, he noted that Belarus often receives proposals to launch joint ventures in one or another country of the EAEU. “Yet, in order to launch some operations, we must have a clear picture in what market conditions it will operate. And, unfortunately, we do not receive an answer to the question about the terms of trade. How will we compete with other suppliers? We want and are ready to build, launch and scale up joint ventures, but we do not have appropriate conditions for this,” the deputy minister said.
He recalled that Belarus and Russia recently signed an agreement on a common industrial policy. “It will stimulate this policy of the two states," Aleksandr Yefimov is sure.