Open dialogue: Belarusian business and the EEC

№ 3, 2021

On June 21, Brest hosted a unique event – the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich and Board members (ministers) with heads of more than 60 Belarusian companies, from industrial flagships to SMALL BUSINESS. Initiated by the EEC Board Chairman, the meeting gave birth to a new format of interaction between businesspeople and the Eurasian Commission, with maximum involvement of entrepreneurs into the integration processes. The agenda included the widest possible range of issues: from e-flow improvement to the creation of common markets for gas, oil and oil products.


One of the key priorities of the Strategic Plan of the ­Belarusian Chamber of ­Commerce and ­Industry 2023 is "The Voice of Business".

The primary task for the BelCCI is to establish direct dialogue between entrepreneurs and state authorities in order to enhance trade and economic relations of the Republic of Belarus with the world community, as well as to promote the BelCCI members' interests.

The Chamber seeks to actively involve the business community in the process of developing proposals to improve legis­lation in the field of foreign economic activity, as well as to create conditions for the prompt identification and elimination of the obstacles that companies face in exporting/­importing, barriers in foreign markets, including the Eurasian Economic Union market.

In these activities, the Chamber maintains close cooperation ties with the Eurasian Economic Commission. ­Recently, such interaction has increased significantly – the BelCCI and the EEC are together implementing several initiatives aimed at improving the business environment, facilitating exports to the markets of third countries, organizing discussions on topical issues of the domestic business community within the EAEU to involve ­Belarusian companies in the implementation of the strategic tasks for Eurasian economic integration development.

The good and efficient practice of interaction of the BelCCI and the EEC has been continued by the organization of a meeting of the Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Mikhail Myasnikovich and Board Members (Ministers) with the Belarusian business community. The meeting was held in Brest on June 21.

Alongside the Chairman, participating in the meeting from the EEC Board side were Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergei Glazyev, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Energy and Infrastructure Emil Kaikiyev, ­Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Industry and Agroindustrial Complex Artak Kamalyan, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Technical Regulation Viktor ­Nazarenko, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Customs ­Cooperation Oleg Pankratov, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Competition and Antitrust Regulation Arman ­Shakkaliyev. On the Belarusian side, the meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich, the First Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Kalechits, Deputy Minister of Economy Sergei ­Mityanski, Deputy Chairman of the Brest Regional Executive ­Committee Dmitry Gorodetski. The Belarusian business community was represented by heads of more than 60 enterprises, both the country's engineering industry flagships and small and medium-sized companies.


During the meeting, such issues as the admission to state (municipal) procurement, international road transportation organization, pursuing of co­ordinated policies in the field of technical regulation, digital agenda implementation were discussed, as well as other issues of interest for Belarusian entrepreneurs concerning doing business within the ­Eurasian Economic Union. All these issues require prompt solution, and can be settled only through constructive discussion with the participation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, government bodies representatives and the business community.

The EEC Board members presented the work results and further plans in such areas as ensuring drug safety and increasing the volume of medicines based on own raw materials in the EAEU market, the drafting of the Eurasian import substitution program, the development of transport corridors and navigation seals introduction to accompany the goods across the EAEU territory, the improvement of electro­nic document flow in the transportation of goods, the adoption of documents ensuring the functioning of common markets for gas, oil and oil products, ensuring equal access of the products manufactured within the EAEU to the markets of other Union member states, including access to state and municipal procurement, promotion of the free movement of citizens through Eurasian vaccination certificate development.

During the discussion, the Belarusian businesspeople confirmed the importance and relevance of the problems identified in the reports, voiced ­specific questions, and presented their vision for further work within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.

As the EEC Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich noted during the ­briefing following the meeting, the Board has developed the system of interaction with the business community – through public discussions of the draft laws to be adopted, the work of the EAEU Business Council, the calls for proposals to form the EEC Council meetings agenda. At the same time, a direct meeting, open dialogue with businesspeople is supposed to be an even more effective feedback mechanism, which facilitates the identification of the specific issues of business interest, allows estimating the efficiency of the work done and learning about the new tasks to be solved.

"The meeting was intense, there were certain comments from businessmen, specific proposals were made on how to address certain challenges the EAEU entities are facing", Mikhail ­Myasnikovich underlined. "All the work we are doing meet the interests of business entities. And such meetings with businesspeople should be held regularly for the Board to listen to entre­preneurs, to identify specific, most pressing issues, and to substantively tell about the work done on each of them a year later, so that the businesspeople of the EAEU countries feel involved in the integration processes, as well as acknowledge the help that the Board can provide."

The BelCCI Chairman Vladimir ­Ulakhovich underlined that the ­meeting was important as it had revealed the interest of Belarusian business in strategic planning of further EAEU develop­ment, participation in integration processes. Besides, the meeting was a kind of a motivating factor for entrepreneurs. "The fact that the Board members have come to meet businesspeople, to listen to their questions, demonstrates that the voice of business matters in integration processes. This is fully consistent with the approach laid down in the Strategy for the Development of Eurasian ­Economic Integration until 2025: maximum involvement of business in integration processes. The assessment of the regu­latory impact, systematic ­meetings, and the involvement of business in shaping the international agenda of the EAEU are also fixed in the Strategy. The Board has got many questions as homework; Belarusian entre­preneurs have presented strategic approaches on certain topics. And such discussions will contribute to particular actions on a number of problematic issues," Vladimir Ulakhovich said.

Therefore, the meeting provided for the shaping of the global agenda of the dialogue between the EEC and the Belarusian business, helped identifying the existing problems to be consi­dered in detail and ­handled within the ­Eurasian Economic Commission.