Government Plans to Boost Trade With Belarus

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Belarusian counterpart, Mikhail Myasnikovich, agreed to boost bilateral trade and investment between the countries during a meeting of top-level delegations yesterday in Minsk.

The meeting came a day after Mr. Hun Sen’s delegation, which includes a slew of senior officials including Cabinet Minister Sok An and Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol, signed on to numerous ambitious trade plans during a visit to Azerbaijan.

Mr. Myasnikovich said that the 10 agreements signed between Belarus and Cambodia would lead to greater investment and innovation between the two countries.

“If we agree on implementing large-scale strategic projects, we will be ready to consider transferring technologies to your country,” he said, according to Belarusian state media, adding that the pacts would “significantly improve the legal and treaty basis of the bilateral cooperation.”

According to Belarusian government figures, trade with Cambodia totaled $6.3 million in 2013, up 200 percent from 2012. in the first two months of this year, bilateral trade exceeded $1.4 million, a 30 percent year-on-year increase.

Belarus’ major exports to Cambodia are potash fertilizers and tractors, according to Belarusian state media, which says tractors made in Belarus account for more than half of the tractors used in Cambodia.

A joint communiqué signed between Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Myasnikovich says that bilateral trade will be boosted in both directions.

“The Cambodian side will create favorable conditions for the promotion of the Belarusian automotive and agricultural machinery, dump trucks, trucks, tires, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, foodstuff and other goods,” the communiqué says. “The Belarusian side will assist Cambodia to increase its exports to Belarus of rice, seafood, rubber, and other traditional Cambodian goods,” it continues.

The prime ministers also agreed to establish a Belarus-Cambodia intergovernmental Committee on trade and economic cooperation.

The communiqué also says Mr. Myasnikovich congratulated the ruling CPP on its victory in the disputed July national election, saying it was held in a “free, fair and peaceful atmosphere.”

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