In the framework of the Belarusian CEI Presidency, the ministerial conference on Promoting Connectivity in the CEI Region: Bridging the Gap between Europe and Asia as well as the meeting of the Senior Management of the CEI Chambers of Commerce and Industry took place in Minsk on 8-9 June.
The thematic panel discussions focused on the modernisation of transport and logistics infrastructure in the context of the EU strategies for the development of trans-European transport corridors involving the resources of international financial institutions, facilitation of trade through the harmonisation of customs, rules of origin and value appraisal procedures, tariff and non-tariff regulation, industrial, sanitary and phytosanitary standards. The participants also discussed the promotion of the concept of so-called digital transport corridors through the development of paperless trade systems, mutual recognition of electronic shipping documents, online sales platforms for small and medium-sized businesses and cross-border digital services.
“We hope that Belarus' cooperation with the European countries and international financial organisations in the transport sector will help modernise the border transport infrastructure and eliminate existing bottlenecks at these sections that restrain transport flows.” noted Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov. He also thanked all participating representatives of the transport, financial, banking and public organisations for their contribution to a fruitful exchange of views on the development of the transport and infrastructure sector in Eurasia.
Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister, Anatoly Sivak, called upon the CEI Member States to join efforts to promote the sustainable development of transport and its infrastructure. He underlined that this would help eliminate the barriers to trade flows and have a favourable impact on the economic development of the region. “Hosting this conference is a landmark event for our country. We see it as a unique platform to discuss the present-day issues in the field of transport and infrastructure,” he said.

The meeting was also attended by CEI Alternate Secretary General Amb. Margot Klestil-Löffler who emphasised that “Belarusian Presidency expands the scale and opens up new opportunities for the CEI. Regional cooperation is gaining increasing attention today. This enables the CEI to play the role of a bridge in different integration associations”.
The gathering also witnessed the signing of the cooperation agreement between the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Macedonia.  
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