MINSK, 20 July (BelTA) – Today foreign trade is not only about selling goods. It is also about fighting for the country's interests, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said at a meeting to discuss Belarus' current foreign policy priorities hosted by the president on 20 July, BelTA has learned.
“Nowadays, foreign trade is not just about export. It is also about fighting for our country's interests, securing a foothold in markets and maintaining it, and countering economic pressure,” Roman Golovchenko noted.
Any crisis has a silver lining. It lays bare problems, uncovers the most pressing issues and helps find unconventional solutions, the prime minister said. “This is how we should view the current situation around our country that is aggressively shaped by the collective West,” he believes.
Despite the pandemic, the attempts to destabilize the situation in the country, and the ongoing economic war against Belarus, the country has still managed to achieve positive results, Roman Golovchenko pointed out. For example, the country's foreign trade is balanced. In 2020, it posted a surplus of $1.9 billion, which was a record high in the history of independent Belarus.
However, in the previous five-year period, Belarus failed to meet some important targets, for example, those regarding merchandise and services export growth, the share of services in total export, and the correlation between export and industrial output. According to him, Belarus has not fully tapped into the potential of the markets of Asian, African, and Latin American countries.
In January-May 2021, Belarus' export went up by more than a third. The country reported another record-high surplus amounting to $1.25 billion. “That was possible thanks to the government's measures and pent-up demand for goods and services after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not do our best, we will soon return to insignificant growth or even, in view of the sanctions, fall into economic decline,” Roman Golovchenko stressed.