So many unrealised opportunities
Belarus keen on comprehensive co-operation with Germany
The Federal Republic of Germany is one of the leading foreign trade partners of Belarus. In 2015, bilateral trade turnover reached $2.47bn, including $1.09bn of exports and $1.39bn of imports (most of the latter being of investment character). Germany is Belarus’ foremost partner in the supply of high-tech equipment, used to modernise enterprises’ production lines. “Last year, our economic co-operation reduced, but we’re keen to restore investment imports from Germany to their former level,” notes Mikhail Myasnikovich, the Chairman of the Council of the Republic.
Meeting the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Peter Dettmar, he noted that 361 enterprises with German capital are registered in Belarus, alongside around 90 German company representations. Mr. Myasnikovich asserted, “This process should be expanded, as only $143m of statutory funds are invested by companies with German capital. It’s really not much.”
The Chairman of the Council of the Republic wishes to see political interaction further activated, especially between our parliaments. A working group headed by Senator Svetlana Gerasimovich has been formed at the National Assembly of Belarus (of the fifth convocation) to tackle collaboration with the German Parliament. Meanwhile, the German Bundestag, headed by the Bundestag deputy of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Oliver Kaczmarek, has established a parliamentary group to liaise with the Belarusian Parliament.
The sphere of culture is another area for interaction, while sci-tech co-operation is being implemented across over 50 joint projects (most financially supported by Germany). Belarusian universities have agreements with more than 30 German universities. Germany traditionally leads among countries providing Belarus with assistance in overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power station catastrophe. Annually, up to 20 percent of our foreign grant assistance comes from Germany and over 3,500 Belarusian children recuperate there. A whole network of Chernobyl initiatives exist in Germany, involving over 400 organisations.
By Alexander Pimenov