Joint Belarusian-Russian Business Council meeting
12 April 2024

A regular meeting of the Joint Belarusian-Russian Business Council devoted to the issues of financing joint projects of medium and small businesses in the Union State was held.

Aleksandr Yastrib, Chairman of the Russian part of the Business Council, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Belarus in Moscow, moderated the meeting, which was held in the online format. The event was attended by the BelCCI Chairman, Mikhael Miatlikov, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Padalko, Chairman of the Belarusian part of the Business Council and First Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Nadezhda Lazarevich, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Volvach (in the format of a video message), representatives of government agencies, industry funds, organizations of infrastructure to support small and medium-sized enterprises, banking and leasing companies of Belarus and Russia, more than 60 representatives of Belarusian enterprises, heads and employees of Russian companies and organizations.

Opening the meeting, Co-Chairman of the Joint Belarusian-Russian Business Council Aleksandr Yastrib noted the importance and relevance of the meeting's topics, as cooperation, especially between small and medium-sized businesses, represents a great potential for the overall development of bilateral economic ties, and it is important for businesses to have their interest in such projects supported at the state level.

Vladimir Padalko, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia, also emphasized the importance of even greater rapprochement between the two countries, including at the small business and regional levels. According to him, the current meeting can be seen as a rehearsal for the upcoming larger event involving the business circles of Belarus and Russia – the Forum of Regions, which will be held this year in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk, as well as for the Business Council meeting within the framework of the Forum. The online meeting will make it possible to see the points of contact between representatives of small and medium-sized businesses, to consolidate the issues that will be subsequently brought to the Forum of Regions and will form the architecture of the upcoming event.

The BelCCI Chairman Mikhael Miatlikov, welcoming the participants of the meeting, noted that support for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as the implementation of joint import-substituting investment and cooperation projects in various sectors are among the priority tasks set before the state authorities of Belarus and Russia. "It is obvious that in order to fully unlock the integration potential of the Union State, it is necessary to consolidate business support mechanisms and develop common tools for more active involvement of SMEs in joint projects," – Mikhael Miatlikov said.

According to him, there is still a lot of work to be done to bring national legislation into line and further harmonize approaches to providing mutual access to state support programs of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. It will be extremely important to ensure effective interaction between business and the authorities.

"That is why the next meeting of the Joint Belarusian-Russian Business Council, which will be held in Vitebsk within the framework of the 11th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia, is planned to be devoted to the implementation of a common industrial policy in the Union State, – the Chairman of the BelCCI said. – I am confident that today's meeting with the participation of SME support infrastructure organizations and development institutions will be of the most applied nature and will allow to discuss the issues of financing joint projects. I wish the participants effective work and fruitful cooperation."

After the welcoming speeches, the program of the meeting continued with expert presentations on the prospects for the implementation of joint projects of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation. The participants were presented with the general state and prospects of industrial cooperation, mechanisms for supporting and reviewing applications in programs and projects of the Union State, programs for financing cooperative projects, including within the framework of the mechanisms of the cluster investment platform and a special investment contract, programs of the Industrial Development Fund of Russia and the Belarusian Fund for Financial Support of Entrepreneurs, advantages of leasing operations, banking instruments for project support, opportunities for the development of industrial cooperation through the MSP.RF digital platform.