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07 June 2016, 13:18

Call for coordinating import substitution in Belarus, Russia

MINSK, 7 June (BelTA) – Belarus suggests coordinating import substitution efforts to Russia. Belarusian First Deputy Industry Minister Gennady Svidersky made the statement during the panel session on Belarus-Russia cooperation in the production sector as part of the third Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia on 7 June, BelTA has learned.

Gennady Svidersky said he believes that Belarus and Russia should not act autonomously in their import-substituting projects. In his words, both government agencies and parliaments should pay attention to the matter. “If legal hurdles are overcome, then the effectiveness of our joint projects will grow considerably. The resolution of import substitution problems in the Union State of Belarus and Russia will be a major breakthrough that will give space for advancement of manufacturing cooperation,” he added.

The official also pointed out that the countries should work hard on removing barriers in mutual trade.

Belarus maintains direct trade and economic relations with 80 regions of Russia, including 66 regions on the basis of long-term cooperation agreements. In 2015 Belarus' main trade partners were Moscow Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, and Leningrad Oblast, the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the Republic of Tatarstan. About half of Belarusian industrial enterprises work together with Russian enterprises as part of various manufacturing cooperation schemes. For instance, 64 components and devices made in Russia are used to make BelAZ haul trucks. As many as 54 Russian companies sell the products that Belarusian MTZ needs.

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