Belarus interested in joint import-substituting manufactures with Slovakia
Belarus is interested in setting up joint import-substituting manufactures with Slovakia, director of the department for foreign economic activity of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Alexander Averyanov stated in a business forum at the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 9 November.
“Joint production of import-substituting products looks promising for bilateral cooperation. Joint ventures with the Slovak capital can be set up in Belarus to meet the demands of the national market and advance these products to the Customs Union,” Alexander Averyanov said.
In his words, Belarus is looking into a number of investment projects with Slovak companies. Among them are upgrading projects in industrial production, railway and construction. “During the period from 2008 to June 2011 Belarus attracted nearly $3 million of Slovak investment. This figure is not big, and our countries need to expand cooperation in the area. We invite Slovak businessmen to the Belarusian market and to partake in the privatization process,” he said.
Slovakia is an important trading partner for Belarus. “The trade turnover between the two states has been recently on the rise. In January-September 2011 mutual trade totaled $203.4 million, up 68.4% over the same time last year. Slovak imports, however, exceed Belarusian exports, therefore we have to work hard to balance trade out,” Alexander Averyanov said. In January-September the export reached $80.8 million, up 75.5%, the import increased by 64% to $122.6 million. Belarus posted trade deficit of $41.7 million.
“In bilateral cooperation there is a significant untapped potential, which the two countries need to explore, bearing in mind that Slovakia might serve as a gateway for the Belarusian business to the European Union and Belarus as an instrument to advance products made by joint ventures onto the market of the Customs Union,” said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Slovakia Vladimir Serpikov.
Ambassador of Slovakia to Belarus Marian Servatka, in turn, said the Embassy of Slovakia issued 756 free visas for citizens of Belarus in 2010, and as many as 890 in January-October 2011. “This assistance is meant not only for tourists, students and sportsmen, but businessmen and researchers. Meetings and talks between entrepreneurs and representatives of the scientific community are important for us. So we are trying to assist them in every way,” he said.