New contracts and import substitution policy. The outcomes of the visit of the Belarusian business to Tatarstan

№ 4, 2022

In the current conditions, Belarus and Russia have intensified integration processes. Mutual tasks include import substitution in microelectronics, machine tool building, transport engineering, energy, chemical industry, metallurgy, IT. The integration foundation is industrial cooperation with Russian regions, which is strengthened by mutual visits of official and business delegations.

Tatarstan is one of the regions with which Belarus has been developing good dynamics of contacts and interaction for many years. Time has proved that one and a half thousand kilometers' distance between Minsk and Kazan is not an obstacle for the implementation of mutually beneficial projects. The production of Belarusian tractors has been launched in Tatarstan, and electric motors for Belarusian dump trucks are produced in Naberezhnye Chelny. Today, oil and oil distillation products are the basis of export to Belarus. Tatarstan, in turn, imports vehicles, food products and textiles. The trade turnover was almost 600 million dollars in the first seven months of 2022. Nevertheless, both sides are sure that such trade volumes are far from the limit.

The prospects for expanding economic cooperation of Belarus and Tatarstan were high on the agenda of the visit to Kazan of the government delegation of the Republic of Belarus headed by Roman Golovchenko, the Prime Minister, on September 21–22. A representative business delegation including heads of large industrial enterprises arrived in Tatarstan to participate in the business program.

During the visit, the "Tatarstan – Belarus" business forum was organized in Kazan by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry together with the Union "Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan". Attending the forum were Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Roman Golovchenko, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, the BelCCI Chairman Mikhael Miatlikov, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan Shamil Ageev, members of the official delegation of the Republic of Belarus, more than 100 representatives of Belarusian and Russian business communities.


Addressing the participants, the Prime Minister of Belarus noted that Tatarstan is a special region for Belarus to attract human, intellectual, industrial and scientific potential. "There is hardly any sphere we do not enjoy trust-based relations," the Prime Minister emphasized. Speaking about the forum, Roman Golovchenko said that the main objective of the event is to increase cooperation between the enterprises of the two countries, especially in the current conditions, when both Belarusian and Russian companies face a variety of problems. "In this regard, interaction should be aimed at increasing trade volumes and searching for the reserves of cooperation the republics have," – the Head of the Belarusian Government underlined. He encouraged the Tatarstan enterprises to the take part in large-scale international events in Belarus next year, such as Belagro exhibition, the Belarusian Industrial and Innovation Forum and TIBO international information and communication techno­logy forum.

In turn, Rustam Minnikhanov thanked the guests for their attention to partnership with Tatarstan and listed the areas the republics are already successfully cooperating in, such as petroleum chemistry, mechanical engineering, agro-industrial complex, agricultural engineering, transport, medicine, high-tech sector, ecology, construction, light industry, consumer market, forestry, etc. "The Republic of Belarus is one of the major foreign partners of Tatarstan and one of the leaders in terms of trade," the Tatarstan President emphasized.

"There is significant potential for expanding our cooperation in trade, economic and innovation areas. Our countries need to respond together to the challenges of the time and increase their competitiveness in foreign markets," the President said.

Mikhael Miatlikov, the Chairman of the BelCCI, sressed that the Belarusian CCI highly appreciates friendly relations with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan. "The two organizations are exchanging business contacts and proposals, including for the replacement of imported products. Various events are held annually within the framework of regional cooperation. The Belarusian business participates in exhibitions in Kazan," he said.

Mikhael Miatlikov assured, "Chambers of Commerce and Industry undertake to become an even more effective tool for prompt assistance in resolving issues of enhancing business contacts between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Tatarstan and involving small and medium-sized businesses in this work. Our organizations will continue being reliable partners for the Belarus-Russia business dialogue."

At the forum, promising areas for the development of the Belarus-Tatarstan trade and economic cooperation, the advantages of implementing high-tech projects within the framework of the preferential regimes in Belarus were discussed. The presentation of the import substitution platform, created on the basis of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange, took place.

11 bilateral documents were signed – cooperation agreements and contracts for the supply of products.

Following the plenary part of the event, B2B negotiations were held, during which the Belarusian participants established contacts and discussed the prospects for co­operation with the enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan in such areas as industrial equipment production, transport and logistics, construction and repair activities, petroleum chemistry, agriculture, wood­working, and others.

In addition to participating in the forum, the members of the Belarusian delegation visited the Technopolis "Khimgrad" and the IT Quarter in Kazan, during their visit to Tatarstan. They got acquainted with these complexes' structure, capabilities and held negotiations with the senior executives of resident companies. Two commercial contracts were signed between Belarusian and Russian petrochemical industry enterprises.

Summing up the results of the visit to Kazan, the Prime Minister of the ­Republic of Belarus stressed that the business mission had been a success: the heads of Belarusian enterprises had signed serious contracts to become a groundwork for the increase in trade turnover.