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22 September 2021, 13:35

Opinion: Belarus' pivot to Asia makes perfect sense

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 22 September (BelTA) – The movement towards the Asian market is absolutely timely and in line with global trends, head of a business association Sergei Rakhmanov told reporters on the sidelines of the international expert seminar Belarus' Pivot to Asia, BelTA has learned.

“Firstly, I would like to say that the word ‘pivot' is not entirely accurate, because we never turned our backs on Asia. Now we are responding to the situation that is developing outside and inside. One of our responses is stronger ties with the Asian region. There are many reasons for this. First of all, external reasons. We are closely interlinked with the world economy and respond to the processes that are taking place in the world. The shift in economic power and in many ways political power prompts us to strengthen interaction with our traditional partners in Asia and establish contacts with new partners. After all, Asian countries are now much more than sales markets, they are advanced economies boasting the latest in technology, which allows them to act as technology donors. Therefore, this movement is absolutely right, timely, and relevant,” Sergei Rakhmanov said.

According to him, Belarus is not the only one to make such a turn. “This kind of a turn is taking place in many countries of the world, including Eastern Europe. Therefore, now the main thing is to move on consistently and comprehensively, making the most of available opportunities and using all types of diplomacy, not only official diplomacy, but also parliamentary, expert, educational, academic and other contacts. Belarus has its own strong points and it is not only logistics, but also advanced technology. Indeed, we are undisputed leaders in the post-Soviet space. Everyone admits it. In particular, the share of the processing industry in Belarus meets the highest world standards. In addition to that, we have a lot of high technologies, which not everyone knows about yet. We are among the world leaders in a number of areas, not only in the export of agricultural products, but also, for example, X-ray equipment, instrument making and many other areas,” he said.

In addition, Belarus is a serious and reliable partner. “Respect should be earned, this cannot be done overnight. Systematic work is needed, and Belarus has been doing it for a number of years. I think that these efforts will result in concrete projects. This work should be well planned, comprehensive and take into account all the assets that we have,” Sergei Rakhmanov noted.

The Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR) is holding an international expert seminar to discuss Belarus' pivot to Asia. The event is held in a hybrid format and is attended by leading experts representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Economy Ministry, the National Center for Marketing and Price Study, the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Development Bank and its Agency of Foreign Trade Activities, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurship, Belarusian State University, Belarusian State Economic University, and the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Foreign experts are also expected to speak. The Industry Ministry will be broadly represented by companies affiliated with it.

The event is designed to compare notes and analyze the current state of affairs in the Asian vector, identify problems and think of ways and tools to address them in the near and medium term. The long-term goal is to create a standing intellectual club (platform) at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research to facilitate promotion of Belarus' interests in target countries, including at the level of businesses. The strategic goal is to pool efforts and experience of government officials, businesses (entrepreneurs), the education sector and the expert community and make the most of the synergy of their competencies and knowledge.

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