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19 October 2016, 16:25

Belarus seeks membership in Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

MINSK, 19 October (BelTA) – Belarus plans to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Belarus' First Deputy Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich said at a roundtable session “Belarus-IMF Talks: Key Points and the Balance of Interests” at BelTA's press center on 19 October.

The corresponding opportunity was discussed with the AIIB representatives in Washington. “We have considered the possibility of Belarus' accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, discussed the mandate of the bank and geography of its operations. We have agreed to continue joint work and that Belarus may become an AIIB member in the future,” Maksim Yermolovich said.

He added that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is the World Bank's analogue for Asian countries. “The interests of this bank, however, extend beyond the geographical Asia and will also cover Europe, the countries that influence the Asian trade and infrastructure projects,” Maksim Yermolovich said.

Maksim Yermolovich also held talks with representatives of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The parties discussed the ways to enhance Belarus' position in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rating. “Belarus makes part of the 7th group of countries in line with the credit rating in the classification of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We hope that the economic situation in the country will give us a chance to enhance our position, up to the 5th group. This issue is for the consideration of the OECD experts. We are doing our best to put forward the information to all the participants of the process, explain the current economic situation in Belarus, provide necessary comments. The Exim Bank of the United States is the most influential institution in this system,” Maksim Yermolovich explained.

According to the First Deputy Finance Minister, the bank welcomes the development of mutually beneficial relations between Belarus and the OECD countries and positively assesses the current situation in the country. “There are certain difficulties in taking decisions on Belarus and the distribution of the bank's operations to the country. It has a different internal procedure of decision making. We hope that the Export-Import Bank of the United States will cooperate with Belarus in the future. We will work on the matter,” he said.

The new Belarus-IMF loan program may become one of the key factors that will help the country improve the abovementioned credit rating. “This will mean considerably cheaper credit resources in mutual trade. It is also an opportunity to expand the exports geography for our companies and the import of technological equipment,” Maksim Yermolovich explained.

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