MINSK, 29 March (BelTA) – Belarusian business is set to diversify imports, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Aleksei Bogdanov told the STV TV channel, BelTA informs.
“We have a large supply of goods that are produced in Belarus. As for imported products, believe me, our importers, our businesses are working on it. We have already gone through similar situations during the spike in COVID. Now everyone is going to act fast. Earlier we focused on export diversification, while today it is more about import diversification. If it is impossible to buy something in some countries, we bring the necessary products from other countries and optimize the supply chains,” Aleksei Bogdanov said answering the question whether Belarus might face a shortage of certain goods.
Speaking about prices, the minister noted that many factors have an impact on the final price of products on the store shelves, but the most important factor is the exchange rate of foreign currency used to buy these products. Logistics has become more complicated, much depends on how long a product stays on a shelf. “If a product sells fast, there are no major risks associated with it, but if a product takes 120 days, half a year to sell, the importer views this product as more risky,” he explained.
Aleksei Bogdanov emphasized that the government, the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade try to prevent speculative bubbles. “We are fighting for a fair price. If there is a real exchange rate risk associated with some product, it is okay to increase the product price accordingly. Yet, we will not allow an increase of 200%. We will not allow random and unjustified price rises for consumer products,” the minister said. He added that there was a very tough discussion on this topic with importers on 28 March.