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Belarus' export and foreign economic relations


Honorary Consul of Austria in Belarus Sergei Kostyuchenko
Honorary Consul of Austria in Belarus on Austrian investment Still, economy is a priority in Belarus' relations with Europe. And a small fact of the week: the Council of the Republic liberalized tax regime between Belarus and Austria since considerable capital comes from the country. Capitals seek places where it's safe and where business gives the investor pleasure. This opinion was expressed by chief of Priorbank and Honorary Consul of Austria in Minsk Sergei Kostyuchenko in an interview with the TV program "Picture of the World."


Restrictions on heavy vehicles movement in Belarus during summer time
Restrictions on heavy vehicles movement in Belarus during summer time Temporary restrictions on the movement of heavy vehicles have been imposed in Belarus. They will be valid until the end of summer. During this period, on the days when air temperature is above 25 degrees, "heavyweights" with an axle load of more than 6 tons will not be allowed to use highways with asphalt covering. The road for them will be open only at night. Temporary inconveniences will not affect passengers, perishable goods, as well as travels related to the prevention or elimination of emergency situations.
Andrei Kobyakov, Belarus Premier
Belarus' GDP down by 2% in Q1 2015 as compared to Q1 2014 On May 19, the Belarus government summed up the socio-economic development of the country in the first months 2015. The overall conclusion is that the economic situation is difficult but not hopeless. There are questions to the Belarusian industry and a number of companies but steady growth can be seen in the construction and trade.


Andrei Kobyakov, Belarus Premier
Belarus records steady growth in agriculture, construction, trade in January-April 2015 Low efficiency of work of some enterprises, but at the same time steady growth in agriculture, construction and trade – results of Belarus’ socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2015 were voiced by the Belarus government today. The development of the economy was affected by external factors. Among them is the devaluation of the Russian ruble, falling oil prices and declining demand in the countries that are Belarus' key trading partners. 
Russian bank ready to support Belarusian businesses in difficult economic conditions How to make Belarusian economy work more efficiently? This was the main topic of yesterday's meeting of the Belarus President with the Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of Russia German Gref. At the beginning Alexander Lukashenko noted a special position of the Russian bank in respect of our country. The Head of State recalled how a few years ago it was this very financial institution that, unlike many other Russian companies, supported Belarus. This meeting also took place in a difficult external economic environment.   


Alexander Lukashenko (L) and German Gref (R)
Alexander Lukashenko meets chief of major Russian bank German Gref How to make Belarusian economy work more efficiently? This matter was discussed at the May 18 meeting of the Belarus President with Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of Russia German Gref. Alexander Lukashenko pointed out that not everything is smooth in the Belarus economy. In particular, the situation is influenced by the neighboring countries - our traditional partners. However, there are some positive trends. We are gradually developing new markets and expanding our presence in other countries. 


Belarus President's visit to MTZ: report of TV program "Picture of the World with Yuri Koziyatko"
Belarus President's visit to MTZ: report of TV program "Picture of the World with Yuri Koziyatko" Cost-effectiveness of the visit of the Chinese president is $18 billion. Belarus plans to get this amount from cooperation with China. For example, Belarus intends to establish in China assembly plants of Gomselmash and MTZ. By the way, during the week, President Lukashenko visited Minsk Tractor Works. Meeting with the staff, he spoke not only about tractors, but also recalled the importance of the visit of the Chinese leader and explained the situation with regard to the most pressing problems of today.


Belarus Premier: Chinese loans are beneficial for us
Belarus Premier: Chinese loans are beneficial for us Belarus' loans from China are comfortable in terms of time and cost. This was said on May 13 by Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov at a meeting with chairman of the State Development Bank of China. The Premier noted that four loan agreements worth more than $800 million are now being implemented. In September 2014, Belarus began to study new mechanisms of attraction of long-term financial resources: the opening by a Chinese bank of credit lines worth $1 billion for 15 years. The new credit agreement was signed during the visit to Belarus of President Xi Jinping.  
Alexander Lukashenko, Xi Jinping visit Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone
Alexander Lukashenko, Xi Jinping visit Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone The head of China Xi Jinping concluded his state visit to Belarus. In National Airport Minsk Alexander Lukashenko personally said goodbye to the distinguished guest. At the end of the state visit, the Chinese President visited the Belarusian-Chinese Industrial Park. 


Minsk, Beijing become sister cities The partnership at a new level. Minsk and Beijing on May 11 signed a memorandum of cooperation. A delegation from the Chinese capital headed by Mayor Wang Anshun met with the leadership of the city's executive committee. They discussed economic partnership and mutual exchange of experience in the fields of education and tourism. Now about three thousand Chinese students are studying in Minsk universities. This figure is going to increase. In turn, the universities of Beijing will provide scholarships for Belarusian students to study in the eastern capital.


Belarus to get China's Eximbank loan worth over $1 billion
Belarus to get China's Eximbank loan worth over $1 billion Belarus has concluded a loan agreement with China's Eximbank worth more than $1 billion. This was announced on May 11 by the Prime Minister of Belarus at the meeting with the chairman of the bank. The Prime Minister stressed that Xi Jinping's current visit to Belarus is historic.
Xi Jinpings' visit to Belarus: new era in Belarusian-Chinese strategic partnership
Xi Jinping's visit to Belarus: new era in Belarusian-Chinese strategic partnership On May 10, one of the most influential people in the world (as it is often called in the American media) - Chinese President Xi Jinping - paid a state visit to Belarus. In Minsk, the Palace of Independence hosted official talks between Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping.


14 Belarusian enterprises to start exports to Chinese market from summer 2015
14 Belarusian enterprises to start exports to China in summer 2015 Made in Belarus and exported to China. There will be more domestic goods in the Chinese market. From summer 2015, 14 Belarusian companies will begin supplies to China.  Negotiations on expanding Belarus' exports to China were held during the recent visit of the Belarusian delegation to China. China is one of the most important trade and economic partners of Belarus.  Chinese like tea. But tea with Belarusians cookies is tastier!


Premier Kobyakov meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary
Premier Kobyakov meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Smooth neighborly relations between Belarus and the European Union will contribute to the maintenance of stability and strengthening security in the region. This was said during the April 29 meeting of Belarus' Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Hungary. Besides, Belarus country as the coutnry presiding the Eurasian Economic Union is ready this year to promote dialogue between the European Union and the EEU. The sides discussed trade and economic relations between Belarus and Hungary.


President Lukashenko visiting Peleng company: We will invest in companies of the future The Belarus President considers it necessary to maintain long-term high-tech industry in the country. This was said by Alexander Lukashenko when visiting the company Peleng. It is part of the State Military-Industrial Committee. The results of the operation of the defense sector was evaluated positively. The modern Peleng grew out of an engineering office, which was organized by the Minsk Mechanical Plant named after Vavilov 40 years ago. During this period the company has become independent. But the main thing is successful and high-tech manufacturing.


Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko: Advanced technologies make country safer The Belarus President considers it necessary to maintain long-term high-tech production. Alexander Lukashenko said this on March 25 visiting the company Peleng. It is part of the State Military-Industrial Committee. Economic indicators of the Committee in 2014 were good. According to the chairman Sergei Gurulev, the Committee is looking for new markets. In 2014, export brought the institution more than $800 million.


Alexander Lukashenko: Belarus and the Orenburg region should work out new ways of cooperation
Alexander Lukashenko: Belarus and the Orenburg region should work out new ways of cooperation Belarus and the Orenburg region (Russia) should work out new ways of cooperation. This was discussed at the March 23 meeting between President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian region Governor Yuri Berg. The Orenburg region is our long-time trading partner of Belarus. Nevertheless, the scope of mutual interests should be expanded. The current visit should become a new page of cooperation.  The guests will stay in our country for one days. The plans include the meeting in the Government, visits to factories and talks of the working group on cooperation.


Activated carbon: Can Belarus start to produce this "miracle pill"? Who benefits from buying imported activated carbon and why does Belarus not produce these simple pills? As it turned out, the general trend of import substitution in the Belarusian economy is not appropriate here, says the Ministry of Health. The production of the harmless drug is classified as hazardous and can only be outside settlements while Belarusian pharmaceutical factories are within the city limits.


Nikolai Fyodorov, the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation
Russia may allow blacklisted Belarusian companies to resume food supplies The matter of resumption of supplies of Belarusian products to Russia will be decided during this week. This was stated at a joint meeting of the ministries of agriculture of the two countries. A group of experts from Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian sanitary watchdog) will arrive in Belarus in the near future. It will inspect three largest companies of the nine that are on Russia's "black list". At the end of 2014, Russia stated that a gene of African swine fever was allegedly discovered in Belarusian pork. The source of the ASF has not yet been identified.
Leonid Zayats, Belarus agriculture minister
Belarus to export to Russia 390,000 tons of meat products in 2015 At a joint meeting, the Ministries of Agriculture of Russia and Belarus have agreed on the so-called trade balances. The Russian Federation insisted on increasing the supply of the majority of Belarus' agricultural products, primarily meat and milk. In 2015, Belarus will export to Russia 390,000 tons of meat, including pork, beef and chicken. This should bring Belarus more than $1 billion.


Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus' President meets with heads of major industrial enterprises The head of state discussed with factory directors the situation in Belarusian industry on March 6. This sector was the most susceptible to external adverse factors. Industry Ministry enterprises occupy one-fifth of the total industrial production in the country, more than half of it is exported. In recent years, they are seriously lagging behind. The President instructed to exclude red tape and make decisions quickly. Meetings on the economy have become regular. It helps to quickly solve problems.


Andrei Kobyakov (L) and Dmitry Medvedev (R)
Belarus and Russia enjoying good intergovernmental dialogue, Belarus' premier says On March 3, Moscow hosts a meeting of Prime Ministers of Belarus and Russia. According to Belarus' premier Andrei Kobyakov, today the two countries are enjoying good intergovernmental dialogue. This should help in boosting trade and economic relations.


Mogilev enterprise produces elevators for Russian nuclear power plant
Mogilev enterprise produces elevators for Russian nuclear power plant A Mogilev factory has made elevators for a Russian nuclear power plant. The Leningrad NPP-2 is now being constructed.  Customers have put forward a number of requirements that forced Mogilev designers to create completely new lifting machines.  Our correspondent Irina Nedoboeva found out the secrets of the Mogilev company's success and asked about their future plans.  Meanwhile, Belarus is constructing its first nuclear power plant. The first energy power unit is expected to be ready by 2018.


Eurasian Economic Union to foster elimination of restrictions in mutual trade
Eurasian Economic Union to foster elimination of restrictions in mutual trade To eliminate existing barriers to trade and move to a coherent industrial policy as well as launch joint projects. On February 6, in Russia's Gorki town outside Moscow, members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) announced priorities for the development of the organization.  In 2015, Belarus chairs the EEU integration bodies. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov held the first-ever meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the Eurasian Economic Union. 


Belarus and Russia need to restore trade volume
Premier Kobyakov: Belarus and Russia need to restore trade volume Belarus and Russia need to restore volume of trade. This was stated by Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov at a meeting in Gorki, near Moscow, at a meeting with the head of the Russian government Dmitry Medvedev. In 2014, bilateral trade amounted to $37 billion. The figure is lower than in 2013. And in order to reach a new level, the head of the Belarusian government suggested that both countries coordinate actions.
Russian sanitary watchdog blacklists two Belarusian enterprises Deliveries of Belarusian meat products to Russia are resuming. On February 5, 7 of 9 blacklisted companies gained access to the Russian market. Earlier Russian experts allegedly found a gene of African swine fever in the products of these enterprises. Only beef supplies have been allowed without restrictions.


Belarusian beef
Russia to remove restrictions on beef supplies from Belarus February 5 On February 5, Russia will remove restrictions on the supply of beef from nine Belarusian companies which products were suspected of containing the genome of African swine fever, said Belarus’ Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zatyats following talks in Moscow with the head of the Russian sanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor Sergei Dankvert. Rosselkhoznadzor said the State Veterinary Service of Belarus has been warned about the inadmissibility of further violations.


Leonid Zayats
Head of Belarusian Agriculture Ministry: We are honest with Russia Belarus did not allow transit of goods that fell under embargo through its territory to Russia. This was announced by the Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus Leonid Zayats who commented on the Russian side's statement that Belarus let forbidden fruit and vegetables pass through its territory. The claims relate to the facts when products were transported to Kazakhstan rather than the Russian Federation.


Mikhail Myasnikovich
Mikhail Myasnikovich: Prices for Belarusian exports have remained almost at the previous level Work with citizens should not be formal and needs to be more active. This opinion was expressed by Chairman of the National Assembly Mikhail Myasnikovich in the Borisov district. The head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament got acquainted with the work of local enterprises. He evaluated the modernized enterprise Borisovdrev and stressed that the greatest attention should be paid to the development of the Borisov district economy.


Alexander Lukashenko makes personnel decisions
Alexander Lukashenko: We will overcome this crisis The Belarusian head of state made a number of personnel decisions today and changed a number of heads of Belarusian districts. The changes concern the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions. Natalia Breus, CTV:Today's nominations are the next link in the chain of big personnel policy in Belarus. On the eve of the new year, almost 50% of the composition of the Government was changed. The President announced that the reshuffle will take place throughout the year.  And now it is time to appoint new officials to certain districts of Belarus.


Andrei Kobyakov summarizes operation of Belarusian economy in 2014 No cabinet work but emphasis on material production and export capacity. Questions on which the Belarus Government is currently focused were discussed on January 22 at the meeting of the President with Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov. Since the end of 2014, meetings on topical issues, which the economic staff of the country discuss together with the head of state, have become a tradition. And, according to Alexander Lukashenko, this form of work should be preserved. 


Belarus to pay creditors over $4 bn in 2015 In 2015, Belarus needs to repay more than $4 billion in internal and external public liabilities. According to Belarusian media, Belarus will need about $3.1 billion to transfer to the repayment and servicing of the external public debt. Repayment and service of debt formed in connection with the issue of five-year Eurobonds by Belarus in 2010 accounts for the largest volume of foreign currency payments. The country will need almost $1.2 billion for repayments on these obligations.


2014: Belarus-Ukraine relations review The meeting of the , which was scheduled for December 26 in Minsk, did not take place: not easy to solve all conflicts and to take into account the interests of all parties. Nevertheless, Belarus' peacekeeping image is now more popular than the image of a "totalitarian state."  


Alexander Lukashenko sees progress in combating Belarusian economy's problems Problems in the Belarusian economy are being gradually resolved, including recent financial and foreign currency issues, said the Belarus Head of State at a meeting on the country's economic development. On December 26, the government reported on its work to resolve the current problems of the Belarusian economy. A week ago, a similar government meeting was held. It took a number of decisions to resolve problems with the lack of foreign currency in exchange points and people's expectations of coming devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.
Belarus to keep state control over prices 'forever' Problems in the Belarusian economy are being gradually resolved, including recent financial and foreign currency issues, said the Belarus Head of State at a meeting on the country’s economic development.  Last time, this topical issue was discussed a week ago.  And on 26 December, which is a public holiday in Belarus, the Government reported back on its work to the President. --- More on the topic: Export diversification among Belarus' top priorities in 2015


Russia may provide Belarus with financial support in 2015 Today, on December 25, during a telephone conversation, Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev discussed joint projects and options for providing financial support for Belarus, BelTA news agency reports. The Prime Ministers of the two countries agreed to take concerted action on the functioning of the system of national economies, taking into account the adverse external conditions. 


Russia banned Belarus' foodstuffs without Putin's consent Investigating authorities of Belarus and Russia will look for those who were responsible for ban on the supply of Belarusian products to Russia in December. 


Belarus President visits Ukraine, meets Petro Poroshenko Belarus will do its utmost to establish peace in Ukraine. This was stated by Alexander Lukashenko during his working visit to Kiev. Mr Lukashenko met his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.  The sides discussed a wide range of issues - from the economy to the situation in eastern Ukraine. Mr Poroshenko looks forward to the resumption of the so-called Minsk talks of the contact group to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
President: Belarus will not restrict import Belarus will not restrict import in connection with the difficult situation on the financial and currency markets. This was said by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 22. The head of state took reports from the president's aides in the Vitebsk and Grodno regions. The President asked about the situation in the region after the decision of the government and the National Bank to restrict introduce a 30% fee on foreign currency purchases.
Minsk wants speedy resolution of Ukraine crisis Newly appointed Aide to the Belarus President, Alexander Radkov, voiced the outcome of the December 22 talks between Alexander Lukashenko and Petro Poroshenko. Minsk wants to quickly stabilize the situation in Ukraine because it is a key to successful operation of the two economies.


President Lukashenko calls Russia's food sanctions against Belarus stupid The media asked Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 19 about Russia's sanctions against Belarusian dairy and meat companies.


President: Exchange rate of Belarusian ruble depends on people Increase in export and boosting sales of Belarusian products. These are the main topics of the meeting on economic issues hosted by the Belarus President. In general, the situation in the Russian financial market, the main export market of Belarus, remains unpredictable. According to the President, Belarus will not rush to devalue its ruble after Russia. The stability in the currency market is the task of the Government and the entire banking system. However, people's behavior plays an important role.
Alexander Lukashenko: We're not going to devalue the Belarusian ruble after Russia Belarus will not follow Russia in devaluing its national currency. This was stated by the Belarus President at a meeting on economic issues. The meeting discussed the situation in the real economy as well as the curbing of unreasonable increases in prices for goods and services in the domestic market.  According to the President, the stability of the currency market is the task of the government and the banking system led by the National Bank.


Belarus PM calls for ramping up export to non-Customs Union states Belarus needs to take the most decisive steps to increase export to countries outside the Customs Union. This was stated by the Belarus Government on December 16. The majority of Belarusian goods is sold in the Russian market. The situation with oil prices and the devaluation of the Russian ruble poses a potential economic threat to Belarus' security. Revenue from sales to Russia have declined by more than $700 million. However, even against this background, Belarus economy has grown in January-November 2014 by 1.7%.
Russia questions quality of Belarusian salt Russia is again displeased with the quality of Belarusian products. This time violations were found in salt by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare of Russia (Rospotrebnadzor).  According to the Russian side, products of the Belarusian companies Mozyrsol and Belaruskali allegedly contains various impurities. Supplies have not been banned but sanitary inspection rules at checkpoints have been toughened.


Russia lifts restrictions on Belarus' meat, dairy supplies Russia is gradually lifting the ban on the supply of Belarusian foodstuffs. It is important to note that Belarusian companies have not changed the production technology. It means that sausage is stuffed with the same meat and the same cows give milk but the harmful substances that Russia mentioned are gradually disappearing somewhere. Regardless of the trade disputes, Moscow residents and other Russians have not changed their tastes and regularly buy Belarusian goods.  
Belarus-Russia breeding transgenic goats as part of interstate project Last week, the Union State of Russia and Belarus turned 15. The treaty was signed on December 8, 1999. Since then, the integration has gone much further.  Now the two countries are implementing a number of joint projects. One of them is the breeding of transgenic goats. Here it is - goat number 1. It is the first transgenic goat in the world. This goat was born seven years ago. Natalia, a researcher at the laboratory of reproduction and genetic engineering at the Belarusian Academy of Sciences, says the kid's birth was a sensation for the scientific community.
Will Russia's economic crisis hit Belarus in 2015? The end of 2014 was not at all easy for Belarus and Russia. The countries have recently resolved the food dispute connected with Russia's ban on Belarus' dairy and meet supplies due to some dangerous substances. Going into 2015 Belarus needs to take into account the economic problems in the Russian market, which the country greatly depends on. 
Alexander Lukashenko appoints head of Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Alexander Lukashenko made a number of appointments on 15 December.  MP Marat Zhilinsky was nominated rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President.


Belarus confirms interest in tighter cooperation with African states 10 new ambassadors presented their credentials to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko December 12. The ceremony symbolizes the official start of diplomats' duties in Belarus. This time, taking part in the ceremony were ambassadors of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Ecuador and Estonia.   Credentials are formal requests of heads of other states asking the Belarusian President to accord full credence to diplomats' official statements. 
Belarus needs to diversify export amid neighbors' economic problems, Alexander Lukashenko says On December 12, the Belarusian President met with the country's Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei to discuss Belarus' multi-vector foreign policy. The head of state touched on issues related to foreign policy and economy. He underlined the importance of increasing export. This is Mr Lukashenko's second such statement in as many days. Russia, Belarus' main trading partner, is experiencing one of its worst economic crises in recent years.


Export diversification among Belarus' top priorities in 2015 Causes of the recent Belarus-Russia food dispute do not lie in Belarus, said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 11. The head of state held a meeting on Belarus' topical economic issues. The meeting, held amid turmoil on the market of Russia, Belarus' key trading partner, aimed to discuss Belarus' performance in foreign markets.


Russia to lift ban on Belarusian meat and dairy products Belarus will resume shipments of meat and dairy products to Russia after Russian sanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor's restrictions. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov of Russia is going to give an order to lift the ban on the delivery of Belarus' products. This was reported by member of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Rumas at the end of the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) board in Moscow December 10.


Russian sanitary watchdog checking Belarusian food companies amid dispute over food quality A large-scale monitoring of Belarusian food processing enterprises began on December 9. Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's sanitary watchdog, in tandem with the Belarusian Veterinary Service and experts from the Eurasian Economic Commission, started to check the plants that have come under restrictions.   Rosselkhoznadzor blacklisted 23 Belarusian enterprises. Deliveries of meat and some dairy products have been temporarily suspended. After government talks in Moscow in early December, the sides agreed an inspection to check Belarusian processing plants.


PM on food dispute with Russia: Belarus against any trade wars Belarus has fulfilled all the conditions of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission to resolve the situation with the supply of Belarus-made products to Russia, said December 5, said Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich. According to the head of the government, laboratory control was tightened at a number of processing plants: each batch of products is checked for compliance.


Belarus-Russia oil duty dispute: 'Tax maneuver' explained In May 2014, the three presidents signed the joint document - the Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union. It has already been ratified by the parliaments of the two countries - Russia and Kazakhstan.


Brazil coast
Belarus-Brazil: Potash, tires and clothing dominate bilateral trade In a few days, the UN conference Rio+20 opens in Brazil. The Belarusian delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will bring to Rio their principle offers. But Belarus is still interested in Brazil as in a promising market for Belarusian goods: today it is among the top ten major foreign economic partners of this country. Until 1960, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil. The population of the metropolis is now around 13 million.