Official Minsk against opening Customs Union market to new participants

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April 22, 2016 18:55

At a press conference in Minsk, Ambassador of India to Belarus Manoj Kumar Bharti said that India was interested in joining the free trade zone within the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Belarus is feeling threatened by this proposal. If India entered the free trade zone within the CU, Belarusian producers would be in a significantly weaker position on the Russian market, facing stiff competition from Indian manufacturers. Official Minsk is not interested in opening the common market with Russia and Kazakhstan to new states – it will seek to freeze the current composition of the Customs Union, as it provides Belarus’ domestic producers with advantageous access to the Russian market.

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According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.

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