MINSK, 25 February (BelTA) – Ways to improve inter-agency cooperation and joint work to promote export were discussed at an extended meeting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA learned from by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting examined the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2020. it was attended by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, representatives of the President Administration and the Council of Ministers, the relevant commissions of the National Assembly, and heads of a number of government bodies.
In his report, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei summed up the work of the diplomatic service in 2020, focusing on issues and tools to solve them. The minister outlined the ways of fulfilling the tasks set by the head of state and also the resolution adopted by the Belarusian People's Congress with an emphasis on ensuring multi-vector cooperation and promotion of Belarusian initiatives in the integration organizations.
The minister noted that the main foreign policy efforts in 2020 were aimed at comprehensive protection and strengthening of the national sovereignty. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked to ensure favorable conditions to promote the country's foreign economic interests, to promote the integration processes in the Eurasian space. Work was also carried out to attract international technical and foreign assistance to help Belarusian healthcare institutions to combat the pandemic, to assist Belarusian citizens who were in a difficult situation abroad.
In general, the results of the work were found as satisfactory. Given the extremely unfavorable conditions, Belarus maintained its presence in the markets of 176 countries, increased exports of food, timber and engineering products to the European Union and other countries, some states of the EAEU and CIS.
Consideration was also given to problems and shortcomings. Belarusian exports reduced across a wide range of positions in a number of countries - trading partners of Belarus
Despite the decline in overall exports, Belarus still ensured a surplus in foreign trade in goods and services worth $1.9 billion or 3.2% of GDP.
“Ambassadors of Belarus in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, the UK, heads of ministries of industry, agriculture and food suggested steps to increase the effectiveness of inter-agency cooperation and joint work to promote exports, shared their experience in new and traditional markets in the face of increased protectionism and declining economic activity on a global scale,” the press service said.
Following the discussion, the prime minister outlined the foreign economic objectives for 2021 and the current five-year period and concrete measures to increase and diversify exports.