BelCCI expands partnerships

№ 2, 2021

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry focuses on exploring new export opportunities, expanding export geography with a closer look at the "Far Arc" countries. To achieve these objectives, the BelCCI actively uses the opportunities of a solid international partner network, which includes more than 280 ­national and regional chambers of commerce and industry and associations in 102 countries around the world, from New Zealand to Argentina.

The partners of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry provide support and backing in organizing various business events, visits and receptions of delegations, help in finding and inviting potential counterparties for the Belarusian enterprises interested in entering the markets of a particular country. With the opportunities offered by the international partner network of the BelCCI, the dialogue of the Belarusian business has not stopped during the pandemic: the joint events have changed their format, becoming virtual, but have not lost their effectiveness.
Personal contact restrictions caused by the pandemic have neither become an obstacle to the expansion of the partner network of the BelCCI. The ceremonies of signing new cooperation agreements have also moved to a new, online format. It was in this format that the partnership relations of the BelCCI with the Korea International Trade Association and the Guatemala Chamber of Commerce were formalized.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) is an influential non-profit organization representing the interests of large businesses and a significant number of medium-sized and small companies in South Korea, involved in international trade. The Association unites more than 60,000 enterprises, including LG International Corp., Daewoo Electronics, KIA Motors and other well-known South Korean manufacturers.
The main activities of KITA include studying foreign market conditions, collecting and processing foreign trade information, providing consulting services, training foreign trade specialists, participating in the organization of national exhibitions and fairs, forming and sending delegations of South Korean business representatives abroad.
One of KITA subsidiaries owns a modern exhibition complex, the other carries out electronic data exchange. The Academy of International Trade, which operates under the auspices of KITA, trains both Korean and foreign specialists in the field of foreign trade.

The Agreement on Cooperation between the BelCCI and KITA was signed by the Chairman of the BelCCI Vladimir Ulakhovich and the Chairman and CEO of KITA Yong Ju Kim during the meeting in the online format on December 15, 2020.
The Agreement is aimed to promote the development of trade, economic, investment and innovative cooperation between Belarusian and Korean enterprises.
The BelCCI and KITA have agreed to actively cooperate and make efforts to promote the trade relations between the two countries, to regularly exchange trade, investment and econo­mic data and the relevant information concerning economic and foreign trade policies in their respective countries, as well as data on companies in the two countries interested in developing partnerships and implementing joint projects. Besides, the signed document provides for the joint arrangement of business missions aimed at estab­lishing contacts between business communities, developing various forms of mutually beneficial cooperation between enterprises, as well as holding exhibitions, fairs, seminars, conferences and other events involving Belarusian and Korean businesses on a regular basis, including with the use of modern technologies and online communication means.
A separate article of the Agreement provides for cooperation between the BelCCI and KITA on the set-up of the Belarusian-Korean Business Council designed to render assistance in the establishment of direct and effective relations between the Belarusian and Korean entrepreneurial and industrial enterprises for facilitating the streng­thening of economic, investment, scientific and technical cooperation. The Business Council is expected to involve senior representatives of companies and organizations that maintain stable relations and con­tribute to the expansion of Belarus-Korea business and economic bonds. The Council meetings shall be chaired by the heads of the BelCCI and KITA.
Andrey Popkov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the ­Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Korea, also participated in the online meeting. After the signing ceremony was over, the meeting participants discussed prospective directions for greater interaction between enterprises and organizations of the two countries, the possibility of holding the first meeting of the Business Council in 2021 as well as other events for businesspeople from Belarus and Korea.

The Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala was constituted in 1894 to support business at all levels, to provide an important engine in the development of the Guatemalan commercial and business sector and develop both domestic trade and international relations of Guatemalan companies. For 127 years, the organization has been protecting the interests of the country’s business, contributing to the development of international contacts and the promotion of foreign trade.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry unites Guatemalan companies and organizations of all ownership forms and provides services in the fields of foreign economic activity promotion, business education, assessment and certification, as well as legal, consulting services and informational support. The Chamber has an extensive branch and guild network throughout the country, which ensures the availability of its services to businesses. There are also some specialized structures, including business councils, Arbitration and Mediation Center, Small Business Support Center, International Trade Center, Congress of Women, Labor Exchange, and others.

The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the ­Guatemala Chamber of Commerce concluded the Memorandum of Co­operation on December 16, 2020.
The document was signed by the ­BelCCI Chairman Vladimir Ulakhovich and the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala Jorge Briz Abularach. The online ceremony was attended by ­Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of ­Guatemala Shirley ­Dennise Aguilar Barrera, the ­Ambassador ­Extraordinary and ­Plenipotentiary of the Republic of ­Guatemala to the ­Russian ­Federation and the Republic of Belarus concurrently Gustavo Adolfo Lopez ­Calderon, Deputy Head of the Asia, Africa and Latin America ­Department of the ­Belarusian ­Foreign Ministry Igar ­Paluyan, Honorary ­Consul of ­Guatemala in Belarus Vitaliy Bondarik.
The BelCCI and the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala agreed to promote the strengthening of Belarusian-­Guatemalan trade and economic relations, assist each other in orga­nizing exhibitions and fairs in both countries, exchange information on economic development and doing business in Belarus and Guatemala permanently, and participate jointly in events aimed at establishing and developing business contacts. The sides also plan to look for promising areas to develop bilateral cooperation and expand business partnerships.
The participants of the meeting discussed the possibility of holding business and exhibition-fair events with the participation of Belarusian and Guatemalan enterprises, the exchange of business missions, the interaction between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and diplomatic missions of the two countries to facilitate business contacts.
Thus, despite the difficulties and challenges all organizations involved in the global economic system have had to face, it is safe to assume that international contacts have not only been maintained but also developed. The foreign partners' activity and ­interest in signing the documents on partnership development is an important sign and incentive both for the further strengthening of business cooperation and for promoting the interests of the country throughout the world, domestic exports developing.