Trade between Belarus and Moscow should reach USD 6 billion, Kobyakov says
Reaching the trade of USD 6 billion between Belarus and Moscow is a very ambitious goal, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov said at the 17th session of the Belarus-Moscow Business Cooperation Council in Gomel.
According to the Vice-Premier, we had an all-time record trade of USD 5.3 billion in the pre-crisis years. Last year it made up USD 3 billion. This year the trade between Belarus and Moscow has been on an increase. In January-April it made up USD 1.133 million, up 15.4% from the same period 2009. Belarus export was up by 26%.
Yet this is not enough, and "we need to add up," Andrei Kobyakov said. According to him, the Business Cooperation Council helps "find the areas where we can add up to reach the said target. There are quite a few areas like supplies of Belarus foodstuffs to Moscow. "We need to work on reducing supply chain for dairy and meat products. We have made good progress in increasing the supplies of Belarusian equipment. Nevertheless we are not satisfied with the lack of progress in implementing the orders given by Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov and Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky. These include the cheapening of the loans extended to Russian consumers to purchase Belarusian equipment as part of the joint project with Russia's Sberbank. We are forced to give tougher instructions to get the job going," he said.
According to the Vice-Premier, there are reserves to increase the trade, such as small and medium-sized business. Andrei Kobyakov noted the need to enhance the responsibility of government executives for reaching the bilateral trade growth targets so that we have results not only in words but in practice too," he said.
We need a quality breakthrough to reach a USD 6bn trade. The formation of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan may contribute to it," Andrei Kobyakov stressed.
There should be no exceptions and restrictions in the Customs Union, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus said. The main point today is whether the participating countries are ready for that at this very moment. "Belarus is ready," he said.
According to the Vice-Premier, the sides have been working on the Customs Union since 1995. The new page in the history of the Customs Union as a supranational body was opened on 1 January 2010. Today we are talking about the introduction of the Customs Code in the Customs Union, Andrei Kobyakov said.
"Russia and Kazakhstan announced that they enforce the Customs Code of the Customs Union on 1 July 2010. Belarus is completing this procedure," Andrei Kobyakov said.
According to him, no radical changes will happen in the country as the Customs Code is enforced because "Customs Code of Belarus and the Customs Code of the Customs Union are similar documents." The issues related to the Customs Code will be considered by the leaders of the three countries in Astana on 5 July, the Vice-Premier informed.