Asia Business Channel: What is your outlook on the evolution of Belarussian-Indonesian politic and economic relations?
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: Belarus was one of the founders of the UN in 1945. Since we established independence in 1991, we built good relation with members of the UN including Indonesia. Indonesia is a huge country in Asia. We have good peaceful relations with Indonesia. Indonesia has always been very active as part of the non aligned countries just like Belarus.
Asia Business Channel: And from the regional perspective, how important is Asia? What is the perception of Indonesia and Asia in regards to Belarus priorities in terms of foreign policy?
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: Asia is very important. Belarus is situated in Eurasia so we have a strong link to two continents. We have an export oriented economy and Indonesia with its 4-5% growth is very attractive.
Asia Business Channel: Indonesia has shown interest in having more wide trade relations with the Eurasian Union in which Belarus is a member.
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: Yes indeed. Our Eurasian Union is working closely with different countries to increase trade. We signed a FTA with Vietnam recently increasing subsequently our trade by 30%. We have products and services to exchange with Indonesia. We are therefore interested to maximize our exchanges.
Asia Business Channel: What is the ambition of Belarus in terms of trade with Indonesia?
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: We signed a certain number of agreements and contracts that will gradually be realized. We tripled our trade from 2009 to 2017 from 65 million USD to 138 million USD knowing that in 1992 it was only 1 million USD.
We also want to increase cooperation: Industrial, technological and scientific. We have a joint commission working intensively. Our scientists are looking forward to bring their expertise by adding value to Indonesia. Our biggest success is potash fertilizer. We increased our supply of this strategic goods as it is used in oil production. We have about 35% of the market. We intend to be a strong strategic partner.
We also sell dump trucks that is a Belarusian specialty, dairy products, meat products and poultry.
Asia Business Channel: How would you summarize the Belarussian expertise and what are the areas in which you can gain ground in Indonesia?
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: We can work together with Indonesia to increase industrial cooperation in machinery, road and construction, materials, IT, steel production, agricultural machinery, electronics, medical and security equipment, wood processing… We also provide IT solutions for big companies, equipment and recognition material for airports.
Asia Business Channel: Finally, which perspectives and opportunities do you see for Indonesian companies in Belarus?
H.E Mr. Valery Kolesnik: Indonesia looks at all the markets for expansion and therefore also at Belarus even though our country may be a bit far compared to others. Belarus imports Indonesian rubber for its tire industry. We look for JV as Indonesia imports tires and we need rubber. We also import coffee beans and raw material equipment from Indonesia. Moreover, we are also interested in importing more fruits and fish.