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Development of Trade and Promotion of Export in Todays World: Prospects for Belarus

Today in Minsk experts from different countries have discussed development of trade and promotion of export in the current world. The international roundtable was organized by UNDP project “Assisting the Government of the Republic of Belarus in accession to the World Trade Organization through strengthening national institutional capacity and expertise”.

The roundtable was intended to discuss current trends in the world economy and ways of overcoming the global economic crisis and mitigating its impact on Belarus’ foreign trade. Promotion of export in the context of WTO membership and protectionism in trade were also addressed.

According to Andrei Evdochenko, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, new threats and challenges emerge every day and require immediate response. The global economic crisis has seriously affected export capacity of all sectors of the Belarusian economy. “Therefore, accession to WTO – said Mr. Evdochenko, – is one of the key tasks for Belarus and its accomplishment would help create more predictable environment for development of trade and economic relations between the country with the rest of the world”.

Commenting on the recent decision on accession of Belarus, Russian and Kazakhstan to the World Trade Organization as a single Customs Union, Mr. Evdochenko said that “this doest not at all imply that the country has dropped the intention to join WTO. Quite the contrary, we hope that the talks will advance”.

The roundtable was attended by prominent international experts including Mr. Ben Slay, UNDP Senior Economist for Europe and the CIS, Mr. Matthias Luecke, Senior Economist from the German Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Ms. Georgeta Mincu, Consultant on Trade and Development (Moldova), government officials from the Inter-Agency Commission on Belarus’ Accession to the World Trade Organization, representatives of Belarus’ leading universities, business  community, international organizations and mass media.

According to UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Mr. Antonius Broek, roundtable discussions were useful and constructive. The participants of the forum learnt both the opinion of experts regarding the current situation and their concrete proposals on how to overcome the crisis. “We at the UN are determined to consolidate our efforts with the government, academia, private sector, bilaterals and international organizations to deliver an effective crisis response”, stressed Mr. Broek.

For further information please contact Mr. Aleksander Plaschinsky, UNDP Project Manager, tel. (029) 762-62-41, or Mr. Vladislav Khilkevich, UNDP Communications Associate, tel. (+375 17) 227-38-17.

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