MINSK, 27 October (BelTA) - Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE) and the Astrakhan SME Support Fund signed an agreement on cooperation in exchange trade. The signing ceremony took place via video conferencing as part of a working visit of Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko to Astrakhan Oblast of Russia, BelTA learned from BUCE spokesman Roman Yaniv.
On behalf of BUCE, the document was signed by Deputy Chairperson of the Board Irina Narkevich, and on behalf of the Astrakhan SME Support Fund - by Director General Irina Azarova.
The agreement aims to promote exchange trade between Belarus and Astrakhan Oblast of Russia. By joint efforts the parties are set to address a number of tasks, the main of which are: to attract business entities of Astrakhan Oblast interested in doing business in Belarus and third countries to the BUCE platform, to intensify cooperation in import substitution, to create favorable conditions for advancing trade and economic ties between Belarusian and Astrakhan businesses and to stimulate entrepreneurial initiatives and building new cooperation chains.
According to Irina Narkevich, despite the fact that the agreement is a framework document and does not yet contain a list of specific measures to fully realize the potential of bilateral cooperation, the very fact of the appearance of such a document can be considered the first step towards the formation of the Belarusian-Astrakhan exchange commodity market.
"The first step has been taken. We have signed a document that clearly defines the key areas of cooperation between BUCE and the fund. Therefore, it is now important to fill our agreement with concrete measures and thereby translate it into practice. Using advanced technologies and tools of exchange trading, we must build a solid digital bridge that will connect producers and consumers from Belarus and Astrakhan Oblast. The exchange platform will help many of them enter foreign markets and minimize the lion's share of risks," Irina Narkevich is sure.
Founded in 2004, the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange conducted its first trading session in June 2005. BUCE is one of the largest commodity exchanges in Eastern Europe. Its main function is to assist Belarusian enterprises with export and foreign companies with entering the Belarusian market. BUCE sells a wide range of metal, forestry, and agricultural products, industrial and consumer goods.