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January 21 – January 27, 2019
Belarus-West relations

Minsk consistently strengthens business relations with EU states avoiding “sharp corners”

The situation has not changed
Minsk consistently strengthens business relations with EU states avoiding “sharp corners”

Belarusian diplomats further applied consistent efforts aimed at building mutually beneficial trade and economic relations with Western states, avoiding politicized rhetoric and not caving in principled political issues.

Last week, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Kravchenko met with the delegation from North Rhine-Westphalia, including Landtag deputies and business representatives. Economic cooperation was in the focus of bilateral talks. The delegation also visited the High-Tech Park and some IT companies.

On January 22nd, the Belarusian government approved six EU-funded technical assistance projects, including ones aimed at supporting local economic development, increasing competitiveness and sustainability of cultural tourism, and monitoring the impact of fires on the population and the environment in the Belarusian part of the exclusion zone. The projects will be coordinated by the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Vitebsk and Brest Regional Executive Committees, and the Minsk City Executive Committee.

In January-November 2018, Belarus’ trade turnover with the EU increased by 24% as compared with the same period in 2017 – up to USD 15. 9 billion. Exports to the EU increased by 37.4% totalling USD 9.48 billion, imports – by 8.5% to USD 6.45 billion. The positive balance of foreign trade in January-November 2018 totalled USD 3.19 billion.

Simultaneously, there was no progress in negotiations on partnership priorities and visa simplification with the EU, mainly due to the EU position and additional conditions voiced during negotiations.

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