Economic cooperation between Belarus and Spain discussed in Minsk

Economic cooperation between Belarus and Spain discussed in Minsk

Business circles of Belarus and Spain have identified priority areas for cooperation.

The first meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic interaction was held in Minsk. Among the main topics were energy, information technology, agriculture, transport and logistics.

Back in June 2017, the foreign ministries of the two countries agreed to move to closer cooperation. Then Belarus' foreign minister Vladimir Makei visited Spain. The first meeting of the intergovernmental Belarusian-Spanish commission held in Minsk is another step in this collaboration.

Pavel Latushko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus in the French Republic, Ambassador in Spain and Portugal in combination:
The growth of Belarus' export to Spain is about 20% per year. This year is is also growing, including in line with Spanish statistics. But Spain is a very huge market, suffice it to look at its GDP. Of course Belarus has large prospects of exporting products to this market.

Spain is ranked among the top five in the European Union in terms of the size of the economy. In the world statistics, Spain ranks 12th or 13th. In recent years, the economy of Spain has demonstrated enviable growth in the euro area. Export volumes are high. Among the classic export items of Spain are auto parts, industrial machines and equipment.

Arkaitz Morabide, manager of a machine-tool company (Spain):
We are successfully cooperating with BelAZ. Our equipment is being used there already. It allows making production more technologically and economically. We will be pleased to participate in the further modernization of Belarusian enterprises.

One more example. Founded in Spain, this company has long reached the international level. It now has offices in 20 countries.

Dmitry Avdeev, regional manager of an engineering company (Spain):
We have been working in Belarus since 2015. Our first project was related to the financing of the European Union - technical assistance to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

At present, we are working with the Naftan refinery in Novopolotsk to modernize their oil refining line.

There are many promising projects. The sides identified the main directions, including modernization of industrial potential. This means energy efficiency and energy saving, infrastructure and projects of public-private partnership, information technologies, agriculture, transport and logistics.

In order to accelerate joint activities, Spain and Belarus also discussed financial instruments. Spain offers financing options for our future projects.

Jose Luis Kaiser, Director General for International Trade and Investment, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain:
The funds provided by our State Secretariat for Trade and the Foundation for the Internationalization of Spanish Enterprises are at the full disposal of the Belarusian side. We analyzed all aspects - from trade to legal - and are willing to do everything we need to strengthen ties between the two countries and to increase the volume of bilateral trade.

Oleg Kravchenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
Another important aspect of our cooperation is investment cooperation. Currently, the parties do not fully use the available potential.

Besides, Spain can become a "guide" for Belarus to the market of Latin America, where its positions are traditionally strong. Now Belarus is already using this scheme with France to advance in the African zone.

In general, relations between Belarus and Spain would develop better is diplomats from that country were present in Minsk directly. For now Spain does not have its own embassy in the Belarusian capital, but there is a hope that more intensive bilateral contacts will speed up the process. At least, the current delegation has conveyed to the Belarusian side the interest of the Spanish leadership in an in-depth and dynamic cooperation.