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Stanislau Bahdankevich:Products’ supply to Russia will form deficit at market and rise in prices

20.08.2014  |  Economy   |  Elena Borel, EuroBelarus,  
Stanislau Bahdankevich:Products’ supply to Russia will form deficit at market and rise in prices

Hunting for meat and crazy prices is the other side of the “Klondike” that Belarusan authorities saw in the ban on export of goods from the EU and the US.

Less than two weeks passed, and Putin already deprived its citizens from imported products and clothes by limiting government purchases of foreign light industry products. According to the list of products, foreign tissues, outerwear, overalls, leather clothing, fur, lingerie, shoes, and other goods are not allowed to purchase.

Lukashenka believes that Russian ban is a Goldmine, and now Belarus is ready to replace Western countries in many spheres. “It is Klondike for us”, - stated the first Deputy Minister for Ministry of Agriculture and Food Leanid Marynich. Belarusan authorities are planning to increase supplies of cheese, meat, and whole milk to Russia, and domestic agricultures are ready for additional supplies of vegetables there.

How beneficial will Russian products’ embargo for Belarusan economy? Whether Belarus will manage to unload stocks from the unsold domestic light industry products? The correspondent of “EuroBelarus” Information Service talked about it with Stanislau Bahdankevich, former head of the National Bank.

- What are the benefits that Belarusan economy can get from the Putin’s revenge for the EU and the US sanctions?

- I believe that Belarus has great possibilities. But we should start worrying about how we can fill the domestic market with consumer goods, as in the current situation Russia can absorb anything.

Russia is isolating itself from the civilized world with the newest technology and equipment, high labor productivity, and low energy consumption. It is oriented for the Asian and Chinese market with their high expenses and low level of technology. And Russia should regain consciousness as soon as possible; abandon its unwise policy for the sake of preserving close connections with the civilized Western world.

- How much money can Belarus earn annually from supplying its goods to Russia?

- The figures cited by some experts in media are, obviously, grounded, and make up to $500 million a year.

The problem is that we don’t have excessive surpluses. And I’m afraid that our authorities would like to earn money and increase export, which will cause deficit at domestic market. And that, in its turn, can result in the rise in prices and inflation. However, possibilities for sales of Belarusan products are quite promising…

- Does it mean that chase for money that Belarusan authorities started will negatively affect ordinary people?

- Basically, yes. Everything depends on how sensibly this policy is conducted. I’m afraid that it can affect the growth on inflation rate at the food market, as the inflation is already soaring! And if we decide to earn money and send everything to Russia without remainder, it will lead to even bigger problems at the domestic market.

- Will we manage to make Russians buy the production of the Belarusan light industry in order to prevent it from ruining at the stores?

- I’m afraid that we won’t, as this problem is more serious. I don’t think that Russia will pursue the policy of self-destruction at its own market to this extent. China is ready to supply unlimited quantities of its light industry products around the world – to Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.

That is why the Russian light industry market won’t open up much for Belarus. Even if there are shifts, they will be insignificant for all spheres expect food industry.

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