India, Belarus Sign Protocol to Boost Trade Ties

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The 6th Session of the India-Belarus Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation was held today here. The session was co-chaired from the Indian Side by Dr. E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Mr. Dmitry S. Katerinich, Minister of Industry of the Republic of Belarus.

Highlighting that the meeting is yet another step in the direction of strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries, Dr. Natchiappan said that “sectors like pharmaceutical, fertilizers, information technology and research & development offer tremendous potential for cooperation between India and Belarus.” Elaborating on the fertilizer sector, the Indian Minister conveyed that “India is looking for long-term contracts for supply of potash to meet its growing requirements.” He also added that Indian companies can also look for “opportunities for setting up joint ventures in Belarus for production of potash-based fertilizers.” The Belarusian side recommended India to determine an Indian counterpart deputed to negotiate on the long-term cooperation agreement, take decisions and signing of the agreement for the full volume of the deliveries. The JSC “Belaruain Potash Company” and an Indian counterpart to be nominated by the Government of India should finalise the volumes, terms and conditions of the long-term cooperation agreement for MOP deliveries to India within specified time period.

The two Ministers also signed a Protocol after the Meeting. It was decided by both the sides that necessary steps will be taken to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Textiles, India and the Belarusian State Concern for Manufacturing and Marketing of Light Industry Goods (concern “Bellegprom”) on Cooperation in the Field of Textiles, Clothing and Fashion Industries.

The Republic of Belarus also asked India to recognise Belarus as a market economy country. The Indian side responded that the matter is under active correspondence between the sides. India is considering the issue of grant of market economy status to Belarus within the framework of India’s Antidumping Rules. The Indian side stated that the matter is being examined positively and the official decision would be taken before the next session of the Commission.

The Belarusian side flagged the issue related to the introduction and long duration of action of antidumping duties on a number of products of the petrochemical complex: tire cord fabric manufactured by JSC “Grodno Azot” and acrylics fibers manufactured by the plant “Polymir” of the OJSC “Naftan”. Belarus advocated for revocation of the antidumping duties on these goods and expressed the intension to maintain the export of the products to India, mostly of interest to Indian consumers.

Both the sides also agreed to create a Certification Centre of Belarusian companies and professionals in the field of software at the earliest possible time. The Belarusian Side will provide a draft concept of the Certification Centre of Belarusian companies and professionals in the field of software to initiate negotiations with the Indian Side.

The Belarusian delegation proposed to hold the 9th meeting of the Business Council “India-Belarus” in 2013 to promote the collaboration of business representatives, as well as agreed to define the dates of the National Exhibition (exposition) of the Republic of India during 2013-2014 in Minsk.

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