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Belarus, EU to ink textile trade agreement for 2010 in October

Belarus and the European Union are supposed to sign an agreement on next year’s textile trade in October 2009, it was learnt from representatives of the Belarusian light industry concern Bellegprom.

By now the Belarusian side and the European Commission have held preliminary negotiations on textile trade. “The final negotiations are usually held in October. At the same time we sign the agreement for the next year,” said the source.

On 1 January 2009 the European Union lifted quotas on 13 categories of textile products exported by Belarus. During preliminary consultations the European Commission stated that several other quotas on Belarusian textile may be lifted as from 2010. “Next year we have been promised that quotas on several other categories will be lifted but no specific categories have been named,” remarked the representatives of the Bellegprom concern. Yet the source underscored that those were only preliminary negotiations and many different variants were considered. “We are still interested in lifting all the 21 existing quotas on Belarusian textiles,” stressed the source.

At present Belarus has reduced customs duties on textile imports from the European Union. During the negotiations the European Commission stated that it hopes the favored treatment will be preserved into 2010. Keeping the customs duties on European Union textile imports low is a crucial condition put forward by the European Union.

The representative office of the European Commission in Minsk said that ministers of the European Union had authorized the European Commission to hold talks on renewing the Belarus-EU textile trade agreement.


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