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17 December 2021, 14:37

Unity expected to help CIS states overcome foreign pressure

MINSK, 17 December (BelTA) – The countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) can jointly overcome the pressure of sanctions and the foreign policy pressure rather painlessly, BelTA learned from First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, CIS First Deputy Executive Secretary Leonid Anfimov before a meeting of heads of the chambers of commerce and industry of the CIS states on 17 December.

Leonid Anfimov said: “The CIS states have a huge potential that has not been fully explored so far. If we tap into it, join our efforts, we will be able to rather painlessly overcome all the barriers, artificial hindrances that impede us in the form of sanctions and foreign policy pressure, including on our country.”

In his words, everyone should get involved in the resolution of the problems the economies of the sovereign countries face, including government agencies and public organizations such as the chambers of commerce and industry. “A chamber of commerce and industry penetrates all the layers of the private sector starting from small businesses and ending with large ones in addition to covering all the branches of the economy – production sector, agriculture, finance, and services. This is why a chamber of commerce and industry can offset negative consequences of the sanctions pressure by invigorating mutual ties between business structures of various countries,” he noted.

In turn, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich noted: “It is a good reason for looking back at what road our Commonwealth has travelled. These years saw the development of infrastructure, the legal base, and business associations. Our chamber of commerce and industry offers a number of services relating to the operation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In particular, a free trade zone is available, we issue certificates to enterprises in order to remove unnecessary trade burdens and operate within the framework of the large free trade zone. A CIS committee on fairs and expos operates. Every year we form the common agenda, exchange expos, and motivate enterprises to participate in them. It produces results.”

Speaking about prospects, the official noted that the conditions that exist at the external perimeter now motivate and encourage to enhance the role and significance of the chambers of commerce and industry as business associations. The concept for developing the Commonwealth of Independent States till 2030 provides for a number of things that will remain on the agenda – the digitization of business relations, transport corridors, matters of ecology, which affect the business environment among other things. In particular, the Belarusian government has recently adopted a national action plan on developing the green economy over the course of five years. Certain provisions of the document affect business operation, Vladimir Ulakhovich said. “We have to develop and strengthen our Commonwealth of Independent States. We have to be stronger, complement each other, enhance the stability of our trade and economic ties and secure serious results,” he said.

Acting Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Armenia Karen Ivanov stressed: “It is difficult to overestimate the role of the chambers of commerce and industry. We very tightly cooperate regardless of whether we operate within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States or the Eurasian Economic Union. The network of the chambers of commerce and industry is kind of a worldwide collective. Requests sent from one chamber to another country are always welcomed and acted upon as much as possible. On the whole, cooperation develops year after year, trade turnover figures grow. One of our goals in 2022 is to open an Armenian trading house in Belarus. We will discuss the possibility with colleagues today in order to secure support of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”

In his words, it is necessary to substitute imports and develop supranational union export within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union now. The establishment of trading houses in third countries, participation in expos and fairs, and the marketing of various products are some of the key tools. “Every country has its own vector. Vietnam is a vector for the Eurasian Economic Commission right now. In my opinion, it is necessary to focus on Iran because it is gradually getting away from sanctions. It is an interesting multimillion market where it will be much easier to work. On the whole, countries have different opinions, this is why the majority of votes is going to decide it,” Karen Ivanov explained.

Within the framework of Belarus' presidency over the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2021 and in view of the 30th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BelCCI) is expected to host a series of events on 17 December. In particular, a meeting of the heads of the CIS chambers of commerce and industry will be held to discuss accomplishments and future ways of development of the chambers of commerce and industry. The 13th session of the advisory board of the chambers of commerce and industry of the Eurasian Economic Union member states will be held to discuss export facilitation and merchandise export promotion to third-country markets. Participants of the events will discuss experience and results of joint work of the CIS chambers of commerce and industry as well as topical problems and cooperation plans for the near future, priority avenues for advancing cooperation.

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