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Belarusian food exports to the Asian region have increased 13 times in the past five years, Belarusian Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Aleksei Bogdanov said at the Belarusian-Asian Forum, which took place in the Belarusian embassy in Moscow on 9 June, BelTA has learned.

“The Asian region is really one of the most promising. Due to a large population, the countries cannot feed themselves and will always be net importers,” Aleksei Bogdanov. “We have been working on the Asian continent for many years. Belarusian food products have gained their presence there. Over the past five years we have increased food deliveries 13 times. Last year deliveries reached $356 million, and the product range was wide. In January-April of this year we already exported food for $167 million, which was up by 60% year-on-year. We supplied a wide range of dairy and meat products, sugar, flax fiber, rapeseed oil and other products. And, of course, we will be working to access more markets. Currently, it is 37 countries in the Asian region. We also plan to expand the range of products we supply."

According to the deputy minister, such events as the Belarusian-Asian Forum that has drawn a lot of diplomats of Asian states, contribute to increasing the supply and recognition of Belarusian goods in the region.

The Belarusian-Asian Forum seeks to showcase Belarus' export potential, establish business contacts, and exchange views on the state and prospects of trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Asian countries. The event has brought together Asian diplomats working in the embassies accredited in Russia and concurrently in Belarus that have neither representative offices in Minsk nor embassies of Belarus at home. They include ambassadors, chiefs of diplomatic missions, and other diplomats of Indonesia, Yemen, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Afghanistan, Laos, and the Philippines.

Representatives of Asian countries are told about possible forms of cooperation with Belarusian industrial enterprises, export financing of joint projects, Belarus' capacities in agriculture, and the work of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in enhancing cooperation with partners on the Asian market.

Source: БелТА

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has donated the vaccine against coronavirus to Belarus. The plane with the medication on board arrived in Minsk on 9 June, BelTA learned from the Telegram-channel of the Belarusian Healthcare Ministry.

Самалёт з гуманітарнай дапамогай

At Minsk-2 Airport the important cargo (about 10,000 vaccine doses) was received by chief doctor of the National Medical Response Center Eduard Valchuk and Charge d'Affaires of the UAE in Belarus Mohammed Alshehhi. According to Eduard Valchuk, today the vaccine is needed all over the world, and Belarus is no exception. “A friendly step of solidarity is important for our country,” said the chief doctor.

The Chinese inactivated Sars-CoV-2 Vero Cell vaccine, which arrived in Belarus, has now been approved for use in more than 10 countries in addition to China. They are the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Hungary, and others.

Source: БелТА

It is necessary to better inform people about the work being done and problems being resolved at the local level. There will be fewer questions and fewer speculations then. Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova made the statement during an expanded-participation offsite session of the Council of the Republic's Presidium, BelTA has learned. The session took place on 4 June to discuss how well the Minsk District Executive Committee and the Minsk District Council of Deputies work with queries of individuals and corporations.

At the beginning of the session Natalya Kochanova explained that Minsk District had been selected because it is the largest one in Minsk Oblast and has certain peculiarities due to its proximity to the capital. The day before Natalya Kochanova and other senators had met with people in various rural councils and had made sure that municipal authorities can and should handle about 70% of the questions and complaints submitted by citizens. She said she had liked the meeting because some of the people had come forward with proposals and ideas.

According to Natalya Kochanova, interests of the individual should top everything else. It is necessary to work with people, know how to listen to people, and see their needs. The successful work of any executive depends on it, the senator stressed. The attitude of people to the government system as a whole depends on how citizens' questions and complaints are handled at the local level, she said.

Members of both chambers of the Belarusian parliament, representatives of the Minsk Oblast Council of Deputies, and heads of enterprises were also invited to attend the session for the sake of ensuring the effective handling of citizens' questions and complaints. Natalya Kochanova encouraged those present to share proposals regarding the amendment of the law on citizens' queries and other initiatives. A number of proposals were put forward.

For instance, it is inadvisable to install deferrization stations in small villages in order to resolve the problem of quality of drinking water. But deferrization devices, which can be installed in wells, have already been developed. They have to go through the certification process. “Certainly, if it helps resolve the problem, we should help the developers implement this manufacturing project,” Natalya Kochanova said.

On the whole, the head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament upholds the view that deputies, who are closest to people, should come up with more initiatives. “The deputy corps should play a more prominent role in handling citizens' questions and complaints,” she said.

In 2020 the Minsk District Executive Committee received a total of 5,146 questions and complaints from citizens (17% up from 2019) and 7,119 questions and complaints from corporations (4% up). The 20% increase in queries sent to the economy office of the Minsk District Executive Committee was caused by the enforcement of Belarus president decree No.143 on support for the economy. Legal persons and self-employed businessmen asked for preferences for paying the real estate tax and the land tax.

According to Chairman of the Minsk District Executive Committee Vladimir Yurgevich, the number of digital queries increased. “Queries were sent by regular mail probably by those, who do have Internet access or do not use the Web,” he added.

In January-May 2021 the Minsk District Executive Committee received 497 queries by regular mail (21% down from January-May 2020), 987 digital ones (31% up), 622 queries from higher authorities (9% down), and 12 repeated queries (47% down).

According to Natalya Kochanova, the fact that citizens keep sending queries regardless of how well the authorities handle them is not a malfunction in the system. “It is life. People will keep contacting the authorities about various matters. It is unavoidable,” she is convinced. “Our job is to promptly and effectively address the incoming questions at the local level.”

Natalya Kochanova believes that a lot had already been done for the sake of comfortable life of the people but it is not always obvious. “It is necessary to work very precisely with people, explain, better inform them about what is being done in their area with regard to beautification, housing repairs, the operation of the healthcare system and the education system. The better informed people will be, the fewer questions and speculations they will have,” she said.

Source: БелТА

The effectiveness of the social dialogue in Belarus is confirmed by international evaluations. Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) Mikhail Orda made the statement after the situation on the Belarusian labor market was discussed at the 109th session of the International Labor Organization (ILO), BelTA has learned.

The pandemic's effect on the world labor market was high on the agenda of the session. It is already obvious that the pandemic has put massive pressure on the healthcare system and has resulted in a global economic and social crisis. Over 255 million jobs were lost. In many countries people had to choose between life and means of subsistence. Global development goals have been threatened such as poverty elimination, hunger elimination, economic growth, and decent jobs for everyone. The International Labor Organization believes that consequences of the pandemic can be overcome and Sustainable Development Goals can be reached only through an effective social dialogue of the three sides – the government, trade unions, and employers.

As for Belarus, the International Labor Organization remarked upon a number of joint actions the social partners had taken to overcome consequences of the pandemic. According to the United Nations Organization, in 2020 Belarus already reached a number of Sustainable Development Goals, which the international community intends to secure only by 2030. Belarus is ranked 18th out of 166 countries in the Sustainable Development Goals Index.

Mikhail Orda stressed that the international evaluations confirm that an effective social dialogue has been enabled in Belarus, a balanced social policy that focuses on people's interests is pursued in the country. “In this context some complaints about the allegedly insufficient level of the social dialogue in the country are at least illogical. These complaints are broadcast within the framework of the International Labor Organization by those, who are trying to undermine our country's economy,” the official stressed. “Such evaluations are nothing but the policy of double standards. For instance, these complaints mention that in 2020 the Belarusian government banned strikes that pursue purely political interests, strikes that have nothing to do with labor and economic issues. But strikes meant to pursue political goals are also banned in Germany and the UK. Or, for instance, in France and Belgium where workers violated strike organization rules in the last few years. In other words, our legislation and practice do not differ from those of other countries in this regard.”

Mikhail Orda noted that Belarusian trade unions constantly work together with the government on improving labor laws. He also mentioned the operation of the national center for protecting rights of workers. Trade unions' lawyers constantly represent workers and protect their rights in Belarusian courts. Thanks to the interference of the trade unions 67 illegally fired Belarusians regained their jobs in 2020 alone, employers paid about Br5 million they had owed to their employees.

Mikhail Orda went on saying: “All of it proves that Belarusian workers can realize their right to establish trade unions for protecting labor, social, and economic interests. It is on these facts instead of speculations and assertions prompted by political reasons that the situation in the sphere of labor relations should be evaluated just like fundamental documents of the International Labor Organization stipulate.”

According to the FTUB press service, representatives of a number of countries, including China, Russia, Egypt, and other ones, also mentioned the development of the social dialogue in Belarus.

Source: БелТА

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