Session to discuss duty free trade

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Duty free trade is in focus of the meeting hosted by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 24 September.

The President noted that a respective bill was submitted to him for scrutiny.

“We have legally defined fundamental requirements to duty free shops and are promoting this type of trade. Since 2014 the number of such shops has tripled in Belarus. About 70 outlets [operate in Belarus today]. Three of them are available not only to departing, but also to arriving passengers. A decree on duty free trade on board Belavia planes has been signed,” the President recalled.

In his words, duty free trade helps increase transit and tourist appeal of the country and is essential for comfortable traveling. “It offers great deals for physical persons,” the Belarusian leader said.

“Although duty free shops are exempt from customs duties, such shops also generate some revenues for the budget, including foreign currency revenues. More Belarusian products are sold via duty free shops these days. In my opinion, the share of domestically made goods has not grown that much, but they make up about a quarter of all products we sell in such shops,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“People working in this industry assure me that there is still room for growth. They put forward proposals aimed to grow this industry even further. However, new proposals should be carefully studied, consequences and possible risks should be thoroughly analyzed,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that duty free shops offer domestic and imported goods at lower prices compared with regular stores. “This is understandable. What is the impact of duty free trade on domestic manufacturers whose products are similar to foreign goods sold via such stores and what is the impact on trade outlets that have no preferences? This is the biggest question. There are no doubts that the public benefits from duty free trade,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.