MINSK, 8 February (BelTA) – Belarus-Israel relations are characterized by a positive atmosphere and mutual interest, Belarusian Ambassador to Israel Vladimir Skvortsov said in an interview the Israeli weekly News of the Week, BelTA has learned.
The diplomat noted that the mutual trade in goods and services hit a record high level of over $200 million in January-November last year. The Belarusian exports to Israel rose six times in the last five years, which helped to balance the trade in the last two years. “We understand that the numbers still do not correspond to the potential of the two countries. Tariff and non-tariff factors still inhibit trade between the two countries,” Vladimir Skvortsov said.
The Eurasian Economic Union and Israel were engaged in active talks last year over a free trade agreement. Signing this document will give a strong impetus to bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the diplomat said
The Ambassador believes that many Israeli citizens view Belarus as a quite attractive destination for investment. “According to the feedback, they find our manufacturing base attractive thanks to transparent business regulations, well-developed infrastructure, highly-qualified personnel in technology and economic sectors, stability, personal security, and low crime rate,” he noted.
Belarus and Israel already have success stories of cooperation in agricultural industry, construction, healthcare, high technologies, information and communications technologies. “The innovations and IT industry are priority areas for bilateral cooperation. Belarus has a strong science and technology potential, good intellectual personnel training traditions, which facilitates the generation of new ideas and solutions. For three years in a row Belarus has been one of the world's top 10 economies with the strongest ICT growth and is easily recognized in the IT community as a provider of a number of unique solutions,” Vladimir Skvortsov said.
He noted that a mutual strong interest in cooperation translates into certain projects. One of the examples is the popular Viber messenger from the Belarus-Israel company. Another example is the purchase of Juno, a resident company of the Belarusian Hi-Tech Park with a development center in Minsk, by Gett company which provides transport passenger services in many countries.