Presentations of business opportunities of countries and regions as an effective tool to support Belarusian exporters

№ 2, 2022

Strengthening cooperation with the "far arc" states, in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean in particular, meets the long-term goal to ensure the well balanced foreign policy of Belarus. Recently, in the situation when visits and other events with these countries are limited, the level of cooperation and business contacts has decreased slightly. Nevertheless, the business unions and enterprises working for the benefit of bilateral trade and economic cooperation are seeking to use all the opportunities available to establish and maintain partnerships. One of the effective support tools are the presentations of foreign countries' business potential, organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, together with foreign embassies and partner business associations.

During these events, heads of diplomatic missions, authoritative speakers from chambers of commerce and industry, as well as the businessmen who have succeeded in joint projects implementation, inform Belarusian entrepreneurs about the advantages and cooperation opportunities, market reviews, promising sectors and niches for Belarusian goods, as well as the companies interested in partnership development.


Cuba: special conditions for doing business

On February 24, opportunities and advantages of doing business within the preferential regimes of the Republic of Cuba were presented to the representatives of Belarusian enterprises and organizations by Ana Teresa Igarsa Martinez, Director General of Mariel Special Development Zone.

The presentation was attended by Vladimir Ulakhovich, Chairman of the BelCCI*, Juan Valdez Figueroa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba to the Republic of Belarus, Mario Leonides Moreno Aguilera, Trade and Economic Counsellor of the Embassy of Cuba, and more than 40 representatives of domestic business working in the fields of mechanical engineering, petroleum chemistry, woodworking, textile industry, food production, the pharmaceutical sector.

Vladimir Ulakhovich noted that Belarus and Cuba have a great potential for business cooperation development. "In the current-day difficult conditions, we are faced with the task to translate this potential in specific projects. The Special Development Zone, where ­Cuban partners want to invite Belarusian companies to, is a new opportunity that should be used," he underlined.

Ana Teresa Igarsa Martinez, in turn, noted that currently the Cuba's Special Development Zone has companies from 21 countries as its residents. "The Mariel Zone is a good way to bring the markets of Belarus and Latin American countries closer despite the pandemic and long distance," she assured.

The participants of the meeting were provided with detailed information about the activities of the Mariel Special Development Zone and the advantages it can provide to the businesses of the EAEU countries, including the possibility of creating a separate industrial park of the EAEU on the territory of Mariel.

At the end of the plenary part of the event, the representatives of Belarusian companies held talks with Ms. Igarsa Martinez and the Cuban Embassy officials, and got answers to their questions about building-up business ties with the Cuban partners.


Mariel Special Development Zone is a long-term promising project launched in 2013. It has its own regulatory framework and is a part of the Cuba's economic model development. The Zone residents are more than 60 companies from 21 countries. The priority activity sectors are electronics, logistics, IT, pharmaceuticals, energy engineering, finance and banking.


Hong Kong: a platform to enter Asian markets

On March 1, the BelCCI, together with the Representative Office of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in the EAEU, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, held a seminar "Hong Kong is your corporate platform to enter Asian markets". The event was aimed to present the opportunities of Hong Kong as a starting point to enter both the continental China and other markets of Asia.

Addressing the seminar were Denis Meleshkin, the BelCCI Deputy Chairman, Aleksandr Shalimov, acting Consul General of the Republic of Belarus in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Leonid Orlov, Head of HKTDC Representative Office in the EAEU, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine, CEO of Russia – Hong Kong Business Cooperation Association.

The speakers informed the Belarusian business community representatives about the current trends of Belarus-China trade and economic cooperation, the possibilities of Hong Kong as a global logistics center, a center of technology and innovation, an effective platform for start-ups, as well as about possible assistance in exporting Belarusian goods and services, and in searching for potential partners.

In particular, it was noted that, while maintaining close ties with China in various fields – from politics and economics to culture and art, Belarus is interested in the systematic development of trade, financial and investment cooperation with special administra­tive units of this country, which, among other things, is evidenced by the decision taken in December 2021 to open a Consulate General in Hong Kong, with its consular district to include Macau.

Despite the pandemic and the recession that followed, the trade turn­over between Belarus and Hong Kong reached USD 140.5 million in 2021 (a 175.2 percent increase compared to 2020). Belarusian exports amounted to USD 91.4 million (the growth rate is 139.3 percent). The largest growth was observed in food trade, and the technology sector has the greatest potential.


Speaking about the potential of Hong Kong, experts noted that this China's special administrative region is a large free economy, which is among the five most successful economies in the world. It is the world's No. 1 center for offshore yuan trading, the busiest cargo terminal, as well as a free port, from where 120 airlines fly to 220 destinations (50 of them in mainland China). The ability to quickly adapt to ­changing business conditions is another hallmark of Hong Kong as an important global economic center.

The great interest in the opportunities offered by Hong Kong to enter the markets of China and other East Asian countries is evidenced by the number of the Belarusian companies that participated in the seminar. More than 90 representatives of export-oriented enterprises either attended the BelCCI or followed the event via videoconferencing. They represented a wide range of industries – from the food industry to the production of household appliances and heavy vehicles, as well as the service sector. After the presentations, the Belarusian businessmen had the opportunity to ask the speakers about the Hong Kong market and establish important contacts for further work.