Belarus UK Season 2020

Date: 04-05 March 2020

On March 4–5, the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted the Belarus UK season 2020. The business event was organized by the BelCCI and the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Republic of Belarus.

The event was opened by Vladimir Ulakhovich, BelCCI Chairman, Lisa Thumwood, Deputy Head of the UK Mission to Belarus, Mike King, First Secretary, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Investment for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region from the British Consulate General in Istanbul.

Deputy Head of the UK Mission to Belarus Lisa Thumwood underlined that the UK is showing interest in cooperation with the business community of Belarus. According to her, the reasons for hosting the Belarus UK Season were, firstly, to encourage Belarusian enterprises to cooperate more actively with British ones, and secondly, to help British companies to learn more about the capabilities of the Belarusian partners. "We are particularly interested in the growing IT-sector of Belarus. Another area of interest for us is cooperation on the supply of electric buses," Lisa Thumwood said.

According to the Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich, the UK's withdrawal from the European Union opens new opportunities for Belarus to develop cooperation with the country. "It is well known that Britain is our large trade and economic partner. Last year, our trade amounted to almost $2.5 billion, with the Belarusian exports making $1.5 billion. Among our traditional commodity items are products of petrochemistry, metallurgy, fertilizers. There are also new niches that we will be opening, including today, together with British partners," said the head of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Speaking about new areas of cooperation, Vladimir Ulakhovich mentioned the IT sector, woodworking and some others.

Belarus UK Season 2020 was a two-day programme to promote trade and investment opportunities for UK and Belarusian companies. It included presentations by experts from the British Embassy in Belarus, the Department for International Trade (DIT) of Great Britain, heads of large companies on topical issues of doing business in the British market, presentations of successful bilateral projects and the British companies interested in finding Belarusian partners, as well as business negotiations between businessmen of the two countries. Participating in the event were more than 120 businessmen of the two countries.

On the first day, representatives from DIT, commercial companies spoke about investment opportunities in the UK for Belarusian start-ups. There was a series of speeches, presentations and B2B meetings to promote investment opportunities in the UK.

The second day was dedicated to the promotion of trade opportunities for UK and Belarusian companies and to the discussions of any existing trade barriers. UK companies presented themselves to potential Belarusian partners and reported on the projects for the introduction of energy efficient and innovation technologies in mechanical engineering, construction, and in other spheres. Representatives from the Belarusian company "Belcommunmash" spoke on their success in entering the UK market and the long-term project, envisaging that the British partners will open a center to develop electrical technology in the Great Stone Industrial Park. The Development Bank of Belarus presented existing opportunities to support Belarusian exports to the UK.

Participating in the events of the second day of the Belarus UK Season 2020 was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Belarus Jacqueline Perkins.

Based on BelTA