Armenia PM, Belarus President Discuss Boosting Trade

May 3, ARMENPRESS: Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko told today the visiting Armenian prime minister Andranik Margarian he was optimistic about the prospects for continued development of bilateral trade.

"Though trade between our countries is not very big, it however, is on a constant rise," Lukashenko told Margarian. Lukashenko also said he and other government officials would do everything "to satisfy all requests, desires and materialize all agreements that would be reached during the visit."

Margarian in turn said he was likewise pleased with the growing bilateral trade, but mentioned also areas in which "the available potential is not used fully."

The two sides plan to sign several documents, including an inter-governmental protocol abolishing exclusions from the free trade regime, as well as agreements on cooperation between the health ministries and between major television channels.

The two countries will also sign a contract for the supply of Belarussian mining equipment to Armenia. A Belarussian-Armenian business forum and an exhibition of Armenian goods will take place during the visit.

Relations between Belarus and Armenia have been steadily growing in recent years. Their leaders meet on a regular basis. The two countries have signed more than 40 agreements, their foreign and other ministries have established closer relationships.

Last year, bilateral trade turnover increased by 12.4 percent to 10.8 million U.S. dollars. Trade has been growing even more rapidly this year. In the first two months of 2005, it was 2.5 times bigger than in the same period of last year.

Belarus supplies lorries, tires, road equipment, chemicals, lumber, and medicines to Armenia in exchange mainly for hard liquor.