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India and Belarus set a Trade Target of USD 1 Billion by 2018

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India and Belarus have formally agreed to increase the trade target from present level of USD 400 million to an ambitious USD 1 Billion by 2018 at the seventh session of the India-Belarus Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation to reflect the true depth of engagement between the two countries.

The decision was taken during the meeting of India-Belarus Inter Governmental Commission at Minsk, Belarus. It was co-chaired by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman and Mr Vitali Mikhailovich Vovk, the Minister for Industry in the Government of Belarus.

Highlights:

  • Both the sides agreed to form a Joint Working Group to discuss further cooperation in health-care and pharmaceuticals.
  • A discussion on the issues relating to long term contract for supply of potash fertilizers to India and possible equity participation of Indian fertilizer companies in Belarusian company producing Potash Fertilizer.
  • Also both the countries agreed to form a joint Working Group to promote tourism between the two countries.
  • Furthermore, both the countries agreed to facilitate business to business contacts to promote investment flows in the two countries.
  • The next session of the Commission will be in New Delhi in 2016.

Significance:

Both the sides noted the potential to step up cooperation in pharmaceuticals and Mining machinery, energy, fertilizer, and tourism between the two countries. Both the sides reaffirmed strong ties between the two countries which were further strengthened by the visit of President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, to Belarus recently, the first visit of Head of State of India to Belarus. During the visit, India offered Lines of Credit worth USD 100 million to Belarus and also accorded it the status of a free market economy.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Capital of Belarus – Minsk
  • Belarusian Currency – Belarusian ruble
  • Belarusian President – Alexander Lukashenko
  • Belarusian Prime minister – Andrei Kobyakov