SOCHI, 9 June (BelTA) – The joint efforts of the EAEU countries allowed increasing the resilience of national economies, Belarus' Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said at the plenary session of the Eurasian Congress'23 in Sochi, BelTA has learned.
Speaking about the interaction within the EAEU, Roman Golovchenko noted: “I think everyone will agree that our common decisions aimed at minimizing the impact of the sanctions and weathering the turbulent time for the global economy have helped all countries of the union to boost the resilience of their economies. Despite the sanctions and protectionism, the GDP of the EAEU inched down by only 1.6% in 2022, though experts predicted that it would drop twice as much. Prospects in industry and agriculture look pretty good. We have stepped up efforts to ensure technological sovereignty in the EAEU.”
According to the Belarusian head of government, a new reality has come into being. He urged to focus on several targets, including the expansion of mutual trade. “Indeed, we benefited from our membership in the union, it opened up new opportunities for our country. In 2022, intra-union trade reached $80 billion, up by 10% over 2021,” he said. Roman Golovchenko also highlighted the importance of transport and logistics. “The International North-South Transport Corridor is a key element of the transportation network of Eurasia, as it is aligned with most of the Eurasian transport corridors. We see the importance the Russian Federation is giving to this corridor and all those countries that make part of this logistics chain. We fully support these efforts and we believe that the development of transport and logistics infrastructure catering to the south and southeast as well as the alignment of existing railways and highways are a fundamental area of our focus. We are not saying that we are discarding the West-East corridor, but we should balance these corridors and make them accessible and beneficial for all countries of the union,” the prime minister added.
The head of government also spoke about cooperation in the industrial sector. “A couple of weeks ago, the heads of state gave the go-ahead to develop a mechanism to provide funding for cooperation projects in industry from the budget. This is important, yet it is only one of the steps. This is a milestone decision, but it will not work unless we invest our best efforts into creating conditions for such projects to emerge and to come to fruition. I suggest that we guarantee that each EAEU country will have the opportunity to implement their project during the five years when the new financial support mechanism will be tested,” he added.
According to Roman Golovchenko, the exhibition “Eurasia is our home” showed what the EAEU countries can achieve by joining forces. “This exhibition showcases equipment that was developed and launched within a short time, literally 1-2 years. These products range from a powerful harvester to a basketball. This was done mostly due to the technological partnership between Belarus and Russia. But imagine what contribution we can make to the added value if we all join forces, if our developers, manufacturers, scientists, engineers join efforts. Therefore, I once again urge our partners in the union to get more actively involved in the development of such projects,” he said.
“We view digital development as one of the priorities of the EAEU. Today, the EAEU is implementing a number of landmark projects in ICT: accelerated rail and multimodal transportation, electronic passports, the ecosystem of digital transport corridors. Currently, almost all integration projects use ICT. Our task is not just to utilize them, but also to use digital transformation to generate new added value,” the head of government said.
Roman Golovchenko emphasized the importance of food security. “I believe that food self-sufficiency of the EAEU states is a crucial important factor. And we have a unique opportunity to ramp up food exports, and to do this we need to sort out issues with logistics corridors,” he stressed.
“Every day we are faced with new challenges that require out-of-the-box solutions. Finding such mutually beneficial solutions within the union is our internal challenge, and we can respond to that only by joining efforts. Our strength lies in the commonality of the goal and the development trajectory,” Roman Golovchenko said.