Belarus-India business forum

Date: 04 June 2018

The Belarus-India business forum took place at the premises of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The event had been organized by the BelCCI and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The forum was attended by the BelCCI Chairman Vladimir Ulakhovich, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Belarus Sangeeta Bahadur, the representatives of more than 40 Belarusian enterprises and 15 CII member companies. The Indian delegation was led by Managing Director of Bajaj Industries Ltd Pankaj Bajaj.

During the forum, the BelCCI Chairman noted that India is Belarus' most important partner in Southeast Asia, while Belarus is one of the key partners for India in Europe. The Belarusian exports to this country is rising, there is a number of promising bilateral projects.

According to Vladimir Ulakhovich, the Belarusian Potash Company is the most successful on the Indian market. But the Belarusian mechanical engineering companies, such as Gomselmash, Minsk Automobile Plant, Minsk Tractor Works, BELAZ, are expected to boost their products supplies in the near future. Besides, both countries have an interest in the project with Bremino Group (development of a special economic zone Bremino-Orsha) and cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Belarus Sangeeta Bahadur said that Belarus and India intend to raise their bilateral trade to $1 billion in 2020.

The Ambassador noted: "Events like the today's one help increase the trade turnover  between our countries. The volume is slightly more than $400 million for now but everything is being done to hit the target in 2019–2020 if not this year."

The Managing Director of Bajaj Industries Ltd Pankaj Bajaj stressed, that Belarus mainly exports potash fertilizers to India while India exports medical equipment and medications to Belarus. "But matters like air transport and visas need more work in order to fully tap into the existing potential and double or even triple the trade volume," he said.

The head of the Indian delegation also talked about plans for cooperation of Indian companies with Belarus in the special economic zone Bremino-Orsha. "It is important that such an initiative will allow creating a hub, which can be used to deliver products to the Baltic states, Russia, and Ukraine", he underlined.

 Pankaj Bajaj also pointed out that Belarusian companies will be able to participate in the Make in India program. "It is an ambitious project and there are things India can learn from Belarus. There are areas of expertise where Belarus is traditionally strong, for instance, the production of agricultural machines and flax fiber. Indian companies will be able to learn from Belarus' experience," he stated.

Participants of the forum focused on promising avenues of Belarusian-Indian trade and economic cooperation. Negotiations were held to discuss opportunities for cooperation in chemical industry, civil engineering, production of plant and equipment, energy industry, application of information technologies in finance, production of tractors, automobiles, fertilizers, cooperation in education, information technologies, and metallurgy.

Based on BelTA