Belarus-Azerbaijan Business Forum
7 June 2024

The Belarus-Azerbaijan Business Forum was held in Minsk as part of the official visit to Belarus of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Ahmedov and the work of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Azerbaijani Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The event was organized by the Minsk Branch of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan – AZPROMO and the National Agency for Investment and Privatization.

The business forum was moderated by Denis Meleshkin, Deputy Chairman of the BelCCI. In an interview with reporters before the forum, he said that it is symbolic that the forum is taking place following the visit of the head of state to Azerbaijan in May 2024, and it is supposed to be the beginning of the implementation of the agreements reached by the heads of state and government.

In his words, there was great interest in the forum, and the topics of the talks and the industries presented on both sides reflect the agreements between the heads of state. This is industrial cooperation in the production of municipal and fire-fighting equipment, cooperation in veterinary medicine and pharmaceuticals. This is not a complete list of planned points of growth. "We are confident that today is not a familiarization meeting between the business of the two countries, but substantive negotiations on the supply of products and the establishment of joint production facilities," – Denis Meleshkin said.

The business forum was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Igor Petrishenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Ahmadov, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Naumovich, members of the official delegation of Azerbaijan, representatives of government agencies and businesses of the two countries.

Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko outlined promising areas of cooperation between the states at the plenary session of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani Business Forum. These include industrial cooperation, the construction of a multi-brand maintenance center in Azerbaijan, practical training of Azerbaijani specialists in Belarus, including in blue-collar professions and others.

"In this hall we have more than 40 Azerbaijani companies interested in both promoting their products to the Belarusian market and also purchasing various Belarusian goods. We talked about this within the framework of the meeting of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. These issues were discussed in detail during the meeting of the prime ministers. We have identified specific projects and approaches to boost trade," Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus noted.

Igor Petrishenko added that the promptness of organizing a representative business forum a couple of weeks after the state visit of the President of Belarus to Azerbaijan will contribute to the timely and full implementation of the agreements at the highest level. "Our leaders have set us a specific task to achieve a mutual trade turnover of $1 billion. We will walk together towards this goal, striving to make our trade mutually balanced. We welcome the increased presence of Azerbaijani goods in the Belarusian consumer market. A number of fruit and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and polymer raw materials from Azerbaijan have allowed us to somewhat substitute similar goods from unfriendly countries. We will continue to support the initiative of our Azerbaijani friends in trade, as well as in participation in major investment projects," Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister assured.

"I am convinced that today's business forum will make it possible to establish new contacts, find reliable partners and will definitely bring tangible results for both sides," he summarized.

Given the wide potential and mutual interest, business communities can and should play an active role in promoting Azerbaijani-Belarusian cooperation, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Javad oglu Ahmadov said.

"We brought a representative government and business delegation to Minsk. This clearly reaffirms our commitment to developing mutually beneficial cooperation with your country. I am confident that the forum will give our business communities an opportunity to find new partners, which will contribute to business ties, new projects," Ali Javad oglu Ahmadov believes.

The forum addressed the issues of interaction and presented successful partnership stories, trade, economic and investment potential of both countries, supplying products for the trade house of Azerbaijan, which opened in Belarus in 2017, beneficial logistics chains for mutual trade, as well as a Belarusian company's project in the field of water supply.

The plenary part was followed by B2B negotiations, where representatives of Belarusian companies established contacts with the heads of 43 Azerbaijani companies interested in cooperation in agriculture, industry, construction, furniture production, light industry, and pharmaceuticals. More than 200 representatives of Belarusian business have confirmed their participation in the event, which testifies to the high interest in economic relations with Azerbaijan.

Three agreements were also signed at the forum in the areas of tourism, joint organization of foreign exhibitions and supply of certain goods for sale in the Trade House of Azerbaijan.

/BelTA materials were used/