Meeting of the Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of the Republic of Belarus to the WTO with the representatives of Belarusian business associations and business circles



Date: 02 November 2017

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a meeting of the Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession of the Republic of Belarus to the World Trade Organization Kemal Madenoglu with the representatives of Belarusian business associations and business circles.

Participating in the event were Vladimir Ulakhovich, the Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vladimir Serpikov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the heads of the Association of International Road Carriers "BAMAP", the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, the Association of European Business, the Belarusian Association of Insurers, the Association of the Customs Representatives of the Republic of Belarus, the business circles representatives.

The involvement of the organizations and business associations in the negotiation process and WTO membership's influence on small and medium business were high on the agenda of the meeting.

Kemal Madenoglu noted that Belarus' accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) may take up to two years. In his words, WTO member states are interested in getting Belarus to clearly understand the requirements and rules that work inside the organization. Preparations for accession to the WTO focus heavily on rules of export and import inside the system with emphasis on the Eurasian Economic Union and taking into account the domestic economic situation in Belarus, the investment climate, and other peculiarities.

He also stressed that, on the one hand, WTO rules limit one's ability to act, on the other hand, they open up great opportunities. The rules make a country predictable for investors, positively influencing the vigorousness of business development investments.

The BelCCI Chairman mentioned that the opinion of the private sector plays a major role in negotiations on Belarus' accession to the World Trade Organization. In his words, Belarus' accession to the WTO poses certain challenges for domestic producers. Vulnerabilities of small and medium businesses and ways to support them should be discussed during the negotiations.

“Belarus' accession to the WTO is an important event for all the economic players. It will give us access to new markets and will increase trade figures. Our consumers will benefit because more liberal access to the Belarusian market will be enabled among other things. We will have to take even better care of the quality of services and products. The competition will become tougher and consumers will benefit once more. But for the private sector it will be a challenge that will motivate companies to make competitive products that sell well,” he said.

Vladimir Ulakhovich stressed that the invigoration of Belarus' accession to the WTO had enhanced the country's image in the international scene. “The Belarusian economy is an open one. Herewith, it is very important to protect our national interests, to clearly stipulate them during the talks and come to terms with the partners.

 

Based on BelTA

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