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MENAFN - Times of Oman - 14/04/2007

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(MENAFN - Times of Oman) Oman and Belarus businessmen are keen to explore new business opportunities and synergise their strengths in various sectors. "A 12-member, top-ranking business delegation from Belarus led by Vladimir Bobrov, chairman of Belarus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), will arrive here today to explore new business opportunities," Khalil bin Abdullah Al Khonji, honorary consul of Belarus, told Times Business.

"To give a big boost to business ties between the two nations, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and BCCI will sign a memorandum of understanding tomorrow," Konji said.

Members of the delegation represent leading Belarus companies engaged in various industries such as heavy load trucks, electronic industry, eye lenses and laser technologies, tobacco and security equipment.

Victor Emelianov, director-general, Scientific and Industrial Company; Dmitry Katerinich, director-general, JS Tyres; Vladimir Linev, director-general, Adani; Vladimir Pokryshkin, director-general, JS Company Peleng; Igor Semerikov, director-general, JS Company Beltechexport; Yury Mosienko, director-general, Agat; Aleksei Shkadarevich, director, LEMT; Ivan Aviv, adviser, Beleximgarant; Pavel Mariev, director-general, BelAZ; Victor Matochkin, technical director, Belarusian Metallurgical; and Aleksandr Brovkin, director-general, Belstankoinstrumnet are the members of the delegation.

"Our objective is to further promote ties between the two nations, and enhance cooperation in commercial, tourism, and cultural relations between Oman and Belarus," says Khonji, who is a leading Omani businessman and member of the Sanad executive committee.

Khalil, who was recently awarded by the government for his efforts to promote the cause of Omanisation, which in turn has helped create jobs in many sectors, said he was honoured to represent Belarus in the capacity of a consul (honorary) in Oman. The Republic of Belarus is well-known all over the world as a large producer of mining trucks, tractors and other farm machines.

Belarus is a large exporter of trucks, tractors, TV sets, refrigerators, chemical yarn and fibre, potash fertilisers, textile and consumer goods.

The policy of strengthening economic relations pursued by Belarus increases its role in the world division of labour throughout the post-Soviet regime territory. The export turnover per capita exceeds the respective indicators of many CIS countries.

After gaining the sovereignty, Belarus remained one of the most economically developed republics of the FSU. The 1992-1995 economic recession was followed by production growth and political stability conditioned by the properly formulated development strategy and refusal from inconsistent reforms.

Traditionally high openness of the Belarusian economy complemented by initiation of reforms has predefined adoption of the multi-vector foreign economic policy. Belarus, while seeking to integrate within the CIS, capitalises most effectively on the international division of labour and makes every effort to efficiently collaborate with the West.

The active national economic policy allowed for stabilisation and some growth in specific sectors of the economy in 1995. 1996 became a turn-around year. After an absolute drop, the GDP started growing: in 1996-2004 the average annual growth rate amounted to 6.6 per cent and it is showing an upward trend. The GDP growth reached 9.2 per cent in 2005.

Compared to the neighbouring countries, the GDP reduced at a significantly lower rate during the transition period. Currently, Belarus is one of the leaders among the CIS countries in terms of the GDP per capita, purchasing power parity and UN-calculated human development index.

In the recent years, the investments in the country's economy substantially increased, thereby allowing Belarus to successfully address social and economic targets in the future.

Intensifying reestablishment of severed intersectoral links and prioritising development of export-oriented industries significantly contributed to the economic growth. Increasing role of the leading economy industries (machine-building, metal-working, chemical and petrochemical, power engineering, consumer goods and food, forestry and wood-working) in the world and European production is an evidence of competitiveness of the developing production potential of Belarus.

Currently, large-sized industrial enterprises serve as a pillar of the Belarusian economy. They employ nearly half of the able-bodied population. Having managed to keep their production capacities from dwindling, these enterprises are specifically concerned to enter new world markets. The government provides a sizable support to them to stimulate their export as one of the priority spheres of the social and economic development of the country. To increase their performance, the majority of the state-owned enterprises are changing their category of ownership, are being corporatised and sold to investors. Socio-economic development of Belarus in 2006 demonstrated positive dynamics on virtually all most important parameters, thus proving the effectiveness of the socio-economic model chosen by the leadership of Belarus.

GDP grew 9.9 per cent in 2006, which is, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007 report, places Belarus among the most dynamically developing states of the world. In particular, in terms of GDP growth Belarus ranks seventh in the world (after Azerbaijan, Armenia, Latvia, Estonia, China and Kazakhstan). Industrial production rose 11.3 per cent. According to the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Belarus, in terms of industrial production, growth passed most of CIS states except Azerbaijan (36.6 per cent).

Belarus has leading positions in the world rating of gender equality. According to the Interparliamentary Union report, published in 2006, Belarus ranks 21st in the world in terms of share of women in legislative bodies, surpassing such countries as Switzerland (28th), Australia (29th), Canada (44th), Poland (46th), United Kingdom (50th). United States, Russia, France, Italy, Japan are not even among 50 leading states of the world. According to the Human Development Report 2006 of the United Nations Development Programme, Belarus kept its 67th position among 177 countries of the world in the Human Development Index.


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