Minsk hosts meeting of Belarusian-Armenian commission for economic cooperation

Belarus and Armenia need to apply a systemic approach to the trade and economic relations, Armenia Economy Minister Tigran Davtyan, said during the 9th meeting of the intergovernmental Belarusian-Armenian commission for trade and economic cooperation, which was held in the Forestry Ministry, BelTA informs.

The meeting was chaired by Forestry Minister of Belarus Mikhail Amelyanovich and Economy Minister of Armenia Tigran Davtyan. The meeting was attended by representatives of a number of ministries, agencies and other interested organizations of the two countries.

Mikhail Amelyanovich noted that in recent years, the Belarusian-Armenian cooperation has been quite vibrant. An active political dialogue contributes significantly to the economic cooperation.

“Since the eighth meeting of the commission, considerable work has been done to boost bilateral economic cooperation. Thus, from 2000 to 2011 the trade between the countries went up 14 times from $2.3 million to $32.4 million,” the minister said. However, the mutual trade could be bigger. The economic potential, according to Mikhail Amelyanovich, is not used to the full. Therefore, mutual efforts are needed to intensify cooperation. The ministry believes that the Belarusian-Armenian commission for trade and economic cooperation will play a key role in promoting mutually beneficial relations between the two countries.

The Armenian Minister, for his part, stressed that the economies of Belarus and Armenia are growing rapidly, increasing industrial, financial and investment capacities. There is full mutual understanding at the highest political level. Trade between the countries increases every year, joint ventures are set up, and investment projects are implemented. Therefore, he said, there are opportunities for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation.

Tigran Davtyan stated that the two countries should put the trade and economic relations on a systemic track so that joint projects would not be isolated cases but become long-term covering broad areas of economic activity. This is the main task of the Belarusian-Armenian Commission, he considers.

Belarus is an important trading partner of Armenia ranking third among the CIS countries (after Russia and Ukraine).

In January-August 2012 the trade between the two countries totaled $28.4 million, up 60.6% from the same period a year earlier. Export made up $24.1 million (up 57.2%), import came to $4.3 million (up 82.5%).

Belarus’ main exports to Armenia are tyres, trucks, milk and dairy products, pharmaceutical products, component parts for trucks and tractors. In Armenia there is a well-developed commodity distribution network of Belarusian companies (over 25 companies). Three companies have been opened in Armenia with the Belarusian capital. The Armenian-Belarusian Trading House Ar-Be features over 10,000 descriptions of Belarusian products.

Armenian main imports to Belarus are strong drinks, siliceous earth, pharmaceutical products and tobacco.

In 2011 Armenian FDI in Belarus totaled $8.4 million. In July 2012 a joint production of Armenian cognac opened in Minsk. The parties are currently working on opening an Armenian trading house in the Belarusian capital.

The sides stressed that the potential of the trade and economic relations is still huge. The parties have agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation in industry, strengthen cooperation ties, set up joint companies, establish direct contacts between economic operators of the two countries. In this respect, a number of ministries, departments and other stakeholders have been instructed to develop cooperation in the industrial production, agriculture, jewellery, IT, international motor transportation and other areas.

The parties also discussed cooperation in the humanitarian area, interregional cooperation. The commission stressed that a strong legal framework has been developed between the regions of Belarus and Armenia.

Mikhail Amelyanovich and Tigran Davtyan expressed confidence that the bilateral cooperation of Belarus and Armenia would continue developing. According to them, there are big reserves for it, in particular, for trade growth, implementation of investment projects and diplomatic agreements.

Chairmen of the commission Mikhail Amelyanovich and Tigran Davtyan signed the relevant protocol after the meeting.

The next meeting of the commission is due to take place in Yerevan in October 2013.

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