MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) - Promotion of trade in timber and agricultural products, development of import substitution and holding joint business events have been identified as priority areas of cooperation between the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE) and the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Belarus. An agreement to promote close cooperation across these avenues was reached during a visit of Uzbek diplomats to the BUCE central office, BUCE spokesman Roman Yaniv told BelTA.
According to Chargé d'affaires of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Belarus Rakhmatulla Nazarov, the economies of the two countries are complementary, which creates a fertile ground for mutually beneficial cooperation, including in the field of electronic exchange trade.
"As you know, Belarusian meat and dairy products and timber are in high demand in Uzbekistan, while Belarus actively buys Uzbek dried fruits and cotton products. It is gratifying that most of these goods are already traded on the commodity exchange. Therefore, our common task for the current year is not only to increase the volume of exchange trade between our countries and maximize the circle of participants, but also to establish mutual supplies of other popular commodity items. It is possible that they will become new points of growth and will help us to achieve the target of $1 billion in bilateral trade," the Uzbek diplomat emphasized.
The need to promote contacts between Belarusian and Uzbek businesses through exchange trade was also pointed out by Kamoliddin Khasanov, Counselor for Trade and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Belarus. To this end, he proposed to present the activities and tools of BUCE at the next meeting of the Belarus-Uzbekistan Business Council and the forum of regions, which is scheduled to be held this year.
"The degree of awareness of representatives of the business community about the opportunities and tools available on the exchange plays a crucial role in the development of the Belarusian-Uzbek exchange trade, and such large-scale events as the forums of regions provide access to the widest possible audience, allowing us to convey information about the advantages of the exchange mechanism directly to market participants - producers and consumers of goods," Kamoliddin Khasanov said.
The proposals of the Uzbek side were fully supported by Chairman of the Board of BUCE Aleksandr Osmolovsky, who in turn drew attention to the significant potential for cooperation in the field of import substitution. According to him, the platform for trading industrial and consumer goods created by the exchange will simplify the work of Uzbek companies in the Belarusian market and will help them find counterparties in other countries.
"Today, over 24,000 Belarusian business entities are accredited on our digital platform, including about 95% of all state-owned enterprises. This means that Uzbek companies can, bypassing intermediaries, buy the widest range of Belarusian goods from their producers or, on the contrary, supply their products to Belarus, using the exchange platform as an element of the commodity distribution network. The exchange will monitor the proper fulfillment of obligations under each transaction. This also applies to transit transactions, when both the seller and the buyer are non-residents of Belarus. Thus, the exchange platform can be used by Uzbek exporters as a safe channel for the sale of goods to third countries," Aleksandr Osmolovsky said.
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.