MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) - Agreements reached today will expand and strengthen multifaceted cooperation between Belarus and Syria, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said at an extended-format meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous in Damascus on 23 November, BelTA has learned.
"First of all, we discussed the contribution that Belarus can make to the restoration and development of Syria's economic potential. I believe that we were able to find the solutions that will bring our cooperation to a new more productive level," Roman Golovchenko said.
In addition to the economy, humanitarian dimension plays an important part in the Belarusian-Syrian relations. "Since 2017, by the decision and initiative of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus hosted Syrian children for rest and rehabilitation. In 2023, we will increase the volume of such assistance and will host even more Syrian children in Belarus," the prime minister said. In his opinion, such work contributes towards the strengthening, first of all, of human ties between the peoples of the two countries.
Trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Syria is developing in the difficult conditions of economic sanctions against Syria, the destruction of transport and social infrastructure, the acute shortage of financial resources of the Syrian government and a decrease in the purchasing power of the country's population. In 2021, the trade between Belarus and Syria amounted to $8.2 million (up by 41.3% year-on-year), exports totaled $7.6 million (up by 47.9%), imports - $0.6 million (up by 6.1%). Belarus had a surplus of $7.0 million.
Belarus' major exports to Syria are defense and security products, milk powder, whey, medicines, tractors and truck tractors. The country's imports are olive oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts, coffee. There is also a joint Belarusian-Syrian commission on trade, economic and technical cooperation, the meeting of which was last held in January of this year.