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Taking note of the importance of training and professional development of the managers and specialists of domestic enterprises engaged in export supplies promotion, the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been holding a unique business course within the multi-format project "Academy of Export" since 2018, and the BelCCI members participate in it free of charge. Over four years, more than 800 business community representatives have completed the Academy of Export business course. Representatives of state administrative bodies, banks and other export support organizations, leading experts of the BelCCI, well-known business trainers and successful practitioners have shared the applied knowledge about various stages of the export project implementation, entering foreign markets and promoting products and services there.
Year by year, the business course of the BelCCI Academy of Export is gaining momentum: its programs are being improved, the list of practice-oriented thematic modules is expanding. When compiling them, the BelCCI relies on applied knowledge, takes into account the current changes in the global market and new conditions in the export avenue, because the successful activities of exporting enterprises worldwide require constant updating of the employees' knowledge and skills to meet demands of the modern business world.
In 2021, taking into account the need to train representatives of exporting enterprises to work in the conditions dictated by the challenges of the time, the Chamber prepared a new business course program – "Export: peculiarities of work in modern conditions". When developing 12 thematic modules, the relevance of additional knowledge on many aspects of the export process in the current situation was primarily taken into account.
An important difference of the 2021 business course was the deepening and expansion of educational programs on financial resource management, marketing activities, sales and negotiation specifics, legal and tax regulation of export supplies, customs support and logistics, cross-cultural peculiarities of business communication with foreign partners, business etiquette, and other topics. The emphasis was placed on the practical benefits for the participants, obtaining specific tools for business development and entering foreign markets.
The business course was held from October 28 to December 17. Given the specifics of the epidemiological situation, the BelCCI provided the audience with the option of either full-time participation in educational modules or receiving training online.
Each of the thematic modules of the business course was devoted to a separate stage of the export project: "Choosing the right export strategy", "Export marketing: choosing markets and finding partners", "Sales management, sales techniques", "Participation in exhibitions: new formats, trends, features", "Business presentation and public speaking, their features in the online format", "Export contract", "Customs export support", "Transport logistics in the export process", "Financial resources management", "Taxes in export activities", "International business etiquette". The audience was informed about export strategies, the choice of sales markets, effective sales management, foreign trade contracts, participation in exhibitions, calculations for export deliveries, logistics, preparation of presentations and negotiations with foreign partners.
A special module, "Eurasian Economic Integration", was prepared by the BelCCI in close cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission. Its main task was to inform Belarusian exporters as widely as possible about the specifics of working in the Eurasian Economic Union, the EAEU institutions and their activities, the main strategies of Eurasian integration and the possibilities of applied business interaction with the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Eurasian Development Bank and the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union.
14 experts from 12 EEC departments spoke at the online module. They highlighted several important topics related to the involvement of business in the integration processes in the Eurasian area, including strategic directions for the development of the Eurasian economic integration until 2025, mechanisms for the implementation of a common trade policy, benefits from the free trade agreements between the EAEU and third countries, measures to protect the internal market, features of goods labeling, transport policy, technical regulation in the EAEU, areas of cooperation of the EAEU business in the industrial and the agro-industrial sector, the barriers currently existing in the Union internal market and possible ways to eliminate them, antimonopoly regulation measures, and other issues.
The business course "Export: peculiarities of work in modern conditions" had a record-level number of participants. 243 representatives of 132 enterprises and organizations – from industrial giants to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs – were trained at the Academy of Export in 2021. More than half of the graduates are managers and employees of state-owned enterprises that have begun to actively promote their products to foreign markets. This shows that in modern conditions these enterprises have an urgent need to update knowledge and skills in the field of export promotion.
The final event of the Academy of Export business course with the awarding of graduation certificates took place on December 30. The Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich summed up the results of the business course and wished the graduates success, effective work, inspiration in all promising endeavors.
"Given one of the absolute priorities of the BelCCI is to provide comprehensive assistance to enterprises in promoting their products abroad, the Chamber stands ready to offer a helping hand to exporters in obtaining new knowledge for the successful export strategy implementation. I am sure that the Academy of Export is an important and effective tool for supporting our enterprises, developing human capital, improving the knowledge and skills of managers and specialists, facilitating the prompt and effective implementation of business plans of any complexity to enter foreign markets. Therefore, we will continue developing and improving this project," the Chairman of the BelCCI underlined.