Online-format business promotion

№ 3, 2020

The global epidemiological situation has become a serious challenge for the business community and business support organizations. With the closure of borders, the "real-life" events aimed at establishing business contacts, personal negotiations of entrepreneurs have become impossible. One after another, major international conferences, exhibitions, forums were canceled. The events that until recently were the pride of any organizer, have become a source of risk during the pandemic.

However, the crisis has brought a new dimension to the business events organization, gave birth to a new, online format of international business contacts and business support. The Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has become an active participant of such online events, has introduced new effective formats and platforms to continue doing its utmost to assist businesses in solving problems arising from the epidemiological situation and expanding international relations.


Steam videos on topical business issues

To overcome the consequences of the business activity decrease and to facilitate its quick and efficient recovery in the future, the ­BelCCI has launched a series of stream videos to support businesses on its YouTube channel. This new field of the Chamber's work is aimed to bring the business community closer to the main activities and support the BelCCI can offer in the current situation. The information is provided by the heads of the BelCCI departments; the participants have the opportunity to ask questions online during the broadcast.

The first series of videos was held in May. It included eight stream broadcasts that laconically presented the services traditional for all the chambers of commerce and industry in the context of the difficulties that the business world is currently experiencing.

The first in the series was a stream video "Exhibitions: What Is Happening Now, and What to Expect in the Future". Eugeniy Vvedenskiy, Director of Belinterexpo Exhibition Unitary Enterprise of the BelCCI, informed the stream viewers about the current state and prospects of the world exhibition industry, major tendencies in the field and the future of Made in Belarus exhibitions and pavilions in the new realities.

During the stream "Certificates of Origin and Own Production: Why They Are Needed and How to Get Them", Nikolai Zhukovskiy, Head of the Certification and Expert Activities Department of the BelCCI, informed the viewers on the specifics of obtaining and using the certificates of origin of goods and own production, issued by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the key mistakes of the certificate holders as well as on the planned changes in the field of certification of origin and own production.

The next to speak live on the YouTube channel of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was the Head of the BelCCI International Cooperation Department, Aleksandr Golovarev. During the online stream, he informed the viewers about business councils – unique platforms where businesses can voice their projects, seek and find partners, as well as about the institute of the BelCCI representatives in various countries and their work to support businesses.

Currently, businessmen are especially eager to know whether COVID-19 can be considered force majeure, for it could be a weighty argument for the failure to fulfill their obligations to banks, contractors, staff and even the state without penalties and negative consequences. To get the legal confirmation of this factor, a force majeure certificate should be obtained, issued by the BelCCI. During the stream "Force Majeure: What You Need to Know Now. Force Majeure in Public Procurement", Vitali Vabischevich, Head of the Legal Department of the BelCCI, presented information on how the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry confirms force majeure circumstances, and on the procedure for issuing force majeure certificates upon the termination of a public procurement contract.

Vyacheslav Trofimov, Director of Belpatentservice Unitary Enterprise of the BelCCI, spoke about the value of trademarks for the successful promotion of products and services in foreign markets. The speaker underlined that competent trademark protection is a guarantee that Belarusian brands will be successfully presented in foreign markets for a long time.

Within the stream "Register of Reliable Partners as a Quality Mark in Business Networking", Head of the BelCCI Legal Department Vitali ­Vabischevich talked about a new service of the BelCCI which simplifies the task of evaluating Belarusian companies by foreign counterparts and serves as an additional argument when choosing a partner.

In one of the latest May online streams, the BelCCI reverted to the topic of exhibitions. This time, the Belinterexpo Director, Eugeniy ­Vvedenskiy, and the Head of the Exhibition and Fair Activities Department, Andrei Shakhanovich, presented instruments of governmental support for the participation of domestic companies in exhibitions and fairs abroad, mechanisms for obtaining such support, as well as plans for the participation of Belarusian exporters in major branch-specific and universal exhibitions in 2021.

The May stream series ended with a stream dedicated to the unique large-scale educational project of the BelCCI "School of Export". Director of the ­BelCCI Business Training ­Center, Elena Khoroshevskaya, informed about the future development of the project and the new opportunities that course participants will receive, including obtaining a diploma from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.

Given the interest shown to the BelCCI streams by the business community, the BelCCI continued this practice in June.

Experts of the BelCCI and its specialized unitary enterprises presented to the business community some large international exhibition events, in which it will be possible to take part as soon as the existing restrictions are removed, the specifics and features of the procedure for depositing the results of intellectual activity, its difference from other options for protecting intellectual property rights, the advantages of applying to the BelCCI for the examination and assessment of all types of property, the particularities of the certification of the products aimed for export to Norway and Switzerland. Besides, during the June streams, the results of the first virtual exhibition of Belarusian manufacturers were summed up; the Chairman of the International Arbitration Court at the BelCCI, Yan Funk, announced the supposed amendments to the legislation on business entities.

Bilateral business contacts: Internet is a meeting place


Given the fact that many business forums, meetings, business matchmaking sessions have been canceled or postponed to a later date, the BelCCI and partner organizations of foreign countries have begun to increasingly introduce online communication tools to provide businesses with opportunities for communication and networking.

The online meeting "Ukraine – ­Belarus: Economic Cooperation amid Global Challenges" was one of the first such events, organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine on May 27.

Speaking at the meeting were the Chairman of the BelCCI, Vladimir ­Ulakhovich, the President of the CCI of Ukraine, Gennadiy Chyzhykov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Belarus, Igor Kizim, Charge d'Affaires of Belarus to Ukraine, Kirill Kamyshev, experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ministry of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine, business representatives from both countries.


The online meeting addressed the issues of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in the current conditions, the restrictions that have arisen in connection with the epidemiological situation, anti-crisis measures taken to minimize the effects of the decline in business activity in the two countries, the assistance the chambers of commerce and industry can provide for the maintenance and expansion of bilateral business ties, and prospects for the further development of Belarus- Ukraine cooperation.

Besides, while pursuing the new online business communication format aimed at efficient bilateral communication of potential partners, the BelCCI together with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) held an online meeting "Turkey – Belarus: the Prospects of Trade, Economic and Business Cooperation Development" on June 24.

Participating in the meeting were Vladimir Ulakhovich, BelCCI Chairman, Nail Olpak, the President of DEIK, Victor Rybak, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Turkey, Mustafa Ozcan, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey to Belarus, Dmitry Dichkovski and Yilmaz Soycan, Co-Chairmen of the Belarusian-Turkish Business Cooperation Council, Sefa Gomdeniz, BelCCI representative in Turkey, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus, Belneftekhim Concern, more than 100 companies from both countries. They discussed the current situation and the prospects for the expansion of Belarus-Turkey trade and economic cooperation in the fields of agriculture, transport and logistics, petroleum chemistry, medicine, IT, education, tourism, investments; the activities of the Belarusian-Turkish Business Cooperation Council as a platform for the bolstering of bilateral business interaction; the opportunities offered by the BelCCI and DEIK as well as diplomatic missions to support businesses in the current situation, to help maintaining existing business contacts and to promote new business ties between Belarusian and Turkish entrepreneurs.

Regional unitary enterprises of the BelCCI have also initiated the arrangement of online meetings of business representatives. The international business events using online communication tools have shown that this format is equally effective for discussing cooperation, exchanging information, experience, suggestions on how entrepreneurs should interact in the current conditions.

Thus, in any situation, the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry seeks to fulfill its main mission – to help increase the efficiency of foreign economic activity of Belarusian companies, maintain existing and establish new business contacts, provide them with comprehensive support in overcoming the difficulties that they have encountered. After all, every successful business is a brick for building and maintaining the well-being of the country.