MINSK, 29 May (BelTA) – The CIS countries need to work together to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the economy, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said during the video conference of the CIS Council of Heads of Government, BelTA has learned.
“We saw the urgent need to further the integration in a number of areas. The deep recession caused by the pandemic, the need to adapt to new realities force us to look for protective mechanisms and growth points, especially within our region, which has well-developed traditional ties and trust,” Sergei Rumas noted.
He noted that now the strategic goal of every state is to minimize the negative impact of the current situation on the population and economy, preserve social and economic and financial stability.
“However, given the interdependence of our industrial, agricultural and transport complexes, we can achieve this goal only together, by joint efforts. In my view, it is time we take systemic action to implement the common economic strategy aimed at strengthening the CIS self-sufficiency, primarily in areas that ensure the health and livelihood of people,” the prime minister said.
In his opinion, it is appropriate to instruct the CIS Executive Committee to organize meetings of appropriate committees to discuss pandemic-related issues that lead to disruption of trade and transport communication. Sergei Rumas also believes it is necessary to develop measures to improve the reliability of cooperative relations in order to prevent disruptions in the supply of components and production stoppages, to increase their resistance to external shocks.
“Looking ahead, I propose to outline joint development priorities with the focus on sectors that are currently critical to stemming the spread of the virus and may also continue to benefit the economy. It is also worth thinking about the possibility of creating conversion industries for the needs of the region, emergency situations,” he said.
The prime minister stressed the importance of developing the healthcare system and its ability to respond to epidemic threats. “Until quite recently, we could not even imagine how much the world economy would be dependent on the epidemiological situation and the effectiveness of healthcare in its fight against the viral infection. Today the situation with the coronavirus is the dominant factor in building any economic forecasts and plans,” he added.
Sergei Rumas hailed the work of the Coordinating Council on the Sanitary Protection of Territories from the Import and Spread of Particularly Dangerous Infectious Diseases organized by the CIS Executive Committee. “I suggest developing a specialized online platform on the CIS portal that will allow specialists and scholars to quickly exchange views and look for new ways to solve the problem,” he said.
The prime minister also emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation between the CIS Executive Committee and the Eurasian Economic Commission.
Photos by Oksana Manchuk