Belarus and Germany are connected with old business contacts, cooperation in trade and investment spheres. Only one example: annual international industrial fair “Hannover Messe 2007” took place in Hannover, in which Belarus participated for the 10th time. And this is a confirmation of a high development level of national economy and science and demand of national production at foreign markets. On the level of Belarusian-German interaction and its development potential said Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus in FRG Vladimir Skvortsov.
For several years, beginning with fact when Belarus got the national sovereignty and Germany united, an active bilateral dialogue between the countries had been held. It is characteristic, that it embraces very wide range of cooperation. The most intensive agenda for bilateral relations is in trade-economic, research and technology, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The regional connections are being dynamically developed. Good pace gathered the movement of sister-cities of two countries. During the last years wide human contacts were made. Perhaps, it won’t be exaggeration to confirm that during such an active intercourse people in both countries became closer in many ways, learned each other, the mutual understanding grew.
— Germany is one of the main trade and economic partners of Belarus: every year grows the volume of mutual trade; the ties between economic agents are being developed. How can we estimate the level of economic dialogue of both countries?
— The development basis of our relations is economy. If in some spheres the results of interaction become more tangible just after a lapse of time, often after years, the picture is an “up-to-the-minute photo”, and economic results of joint activity can always be measured and objectively assessed in a “real time mode”. Situation in this sphere of bilateral relations is determined by the fact that FRG is the second trade and economic partner after Russia, and our country, in its turn, — the fourth for Berlin among CIS countries in terms of volume of mutual sales turnover, and the third by import index.
Recently economic dialogue of Belarus and Germany becomes more substantial and intensive. The dynamics of mutual trade indices during the last five years witnesses on this. If in 2002 the task was to bring up the total volume of our sales turnover to 1 billion US Dollars, after four years, in 2006, taking into account services on this index, we have already reached the mark in 2.6 billion dollars.
Germany kept the status of an indisputable leader among European trade partners of Belarus in diversity of trade structure of our export. Last year it was carried out by 390 commodity items. At that per year in the list of commodities exported to Germany, appeared 48 new items, the scope of delivery by which exceeded 3 million US Dollars. Among the most important positive tendencies in Belarusian export development in 2006 I would like to note, first of all, significant increase of supplies to a German market with a high level of processing by such commodity lines as items made of non-noble metals; production of chemical industry; machines, equipment, transport, facilities and instruments.
— Traditionally in a credit portfolio of Belarus investments from Germany have significant specific weight. Germany was one of the first countries, which opened the so-called export credit lines for Belarus within the frames of support of its exporters. In recent years the crediting of equipment purchase under government warranties is actively complemented by the crediting on the level of German commercial banks. Specify how credit and investment cooperation of Belarus with Germany is being developed.
— Credit and investment cooperation is a significant aspect of Belarusian-German trade and economic relations. By the volume of attached credit resources FRG is among leaders countries-creditors. Within the frames of a credit line under the government warranties Belarusian enterprises-borrowers received funds on the amount of nearly 550 million Euro, at the expense of which 60 projects were financed.
Inensiveness and the scale of cooperation in the sphere of credit and investment cooperation continue growing. If last year Belarus was given a plan fund (ceiling, crediting limit) on Hermes line at the rate of 75 million Euro, this year it was significantly increased and reached 100 million Euro. On the whole in 2006 from Germany into Belarusian economy came 401,7 million Euro, that is 2,7 times more in comparison with the previous year. And the freshest fact — in Frankfurt am Main took place the signing of a frame credit agreement between Belvneshekonombank and Dresnder Bank. The credit amount is 125 million Euro. One of the activity indices of business contacts between the two countries, as is known, is the number of acting joint ventures. There are 365 registered transactors on the territory of Belarus, according to the latest data. Their total formed authorized funds amount to 73.7 million dollars. Besides, the representative offices of 75 German firms work in the republic. Our transactors have 10 representative offices in FRG. It is obvious enough that we have noticeable achievements. However, even these positive results, no doubt, can not satisfy either of the parties to the full extent. As we perfectly understand that the scale of our cooperation on economic agenda could have been much wider.
Speaking of the most foreground and prospective economic cooperation lines with respect of branch sector, I would like to name machine construction, electrical technology, chemical industry, woodworking, textile manufacture and manufacture of ready-made clothes, agricultural products processing. In the sphere of service trade we should primarily note transport services and software engineering services. For the time being the embassy is actively working under enhancement export of Belarusian software products to Germany. We see a great potential in the area of supply to the German market of intellectual products.
— Belarus carried out multiple-vector foreign policy extremely effectively combining external economic and internal politic interests. Probably, they say not in vain that “policy means economy in operation”. So, up to your opinion, what — economy or policy does predominate successful cooperation between Belarus and Germany?
— As I had already emphasized, the basis of our relations with German Federal Republic was economy, it is underlying structure of the whole building. So it would have had considerably more finished form if it could have lead to the extremely new level of relation complex including political ones. Such necessity had already come to the head and the potential for it is pretty high.