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Minsk to take measures to step up export of services, reduce debt portfolio

MINSK, 5 November (BelTA) – Minsk will take measures to boost exports of services and reduce its external debt portfolio, said Chairman of the Economy Committee of the Minsk City Hall Anton Krayevsky at the meeting of the Minsk City Hall on 5 November.

According to Anton Krayevsky, revenue from foreign trade account for three fourths of the Gross Regional Product. That is why the expansion of geography and an increase in supplies abroad is of high importance for the Belarusian capital.

In order to rectify the situation there is a need to intensify the work on selection of sites for import-substituting productions, establish cooperation between importers and producers. Besides, there are plans to analyze the efficiency of the city’s program to reach surplus in foreign trade.

The potential of the services area, including construction, IT and transportation remains untapped. Thus, the export of transport services has increased only by 5.8% this year. The economy committee is preparing proposals to step up the export of services.

In January-August (according to preliminary estimates, in January-September) the city beat the targets regarding the export of goods and the merchandize trade surplus. In January-August the export of goods totaled $4.6 billion, up 25.8% from the same period a year earlier (the growth target is 12%). The foreign trade surplus came to about $1.8 billion. Products were shipped to 130 countries. Minsk increased exports to Syria (10 times), Ghana (7), the Czech Republic (4.7 times), Guinea (4 times), Armenia (3.7 times), Japan (3), Lithuania (2.5 times), and India (2.4 times). Minsk expanded into new markets of Cote d'Ivoire, Sri Lanka, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Togo, Senegal, and Tanzania. Significant increase was registered in the export of clothing made of natural fur, shoes, polymers of ethylene and refined copper.

Export of goods by the organizations of municipal ownership and without departmental subordination amounted to $2 billion (up 82.9% as against January-August), import totaled $5.8 billion (14.2%). The foreign trade deficit made up more than $3.7 billion.

The targets regarding the export of services and surplus of foreign trade in services were not met. Export of services reached about $1.9 billion, up 8.7% from the same period last year (the target is 38%), import made up $1.2 billion, up 21.2%.