“Euroregion“ Neman” has already become a business brand of the Grodno region, gathering diplomats, representatives of business circles from the countries with which the region traditionally cooperates for the tenth time in the city over Neman. Diplomats from Slovakia, Vietnam, Israel, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania came to this forum. The business forum has become a platform for signing agreements on trade, economic and investment cooperation, and contributes to the establishment of mutually beneficial contacts in the fields of science and education, industry and culture.
Vladimir Kravtsov, the chairman of the regional executive committee, addressed the forum participants with a welcoming speech: — The business forum is taking place within the framework of the implementation of the agreement on the establishment of a cross-border union “Euroregion Neman” concluded in the 90s of the last century, the participants of which were the Grodno region, regions of the Republic of Poland, counties of the Republic of Lithuania, and regions of the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation. The main purpose of the forum is to develop effective mechanisms for the integration of Grodno region and its regions into the international economic space, search for business partners, boost investment activities, and strengthen economic, cultural and humanitarian ties between border areas. Practice has shown that the economic forum is an effective platform for exchanging opinions, forging new business contacts. Its implementation contributes to more constructive communication in the search for possible ways of cooperation, the implementation of innovative projects, attracting investors and partners. We attach particular importance to close cooperation with the states bordering on our region. At the same time, in recent years more and more partners from other states have joined the forum, with which we have agreements or intentions to conclude them. I am sure that the work carried out within the framework of the forum will bring its results, and a fruitful and constructive discussion will serve as the basis for long-term mutually beneficial cooperation.
Yury Chebotar, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, read the welcome address to the forum participants from Dmitry Krutoy, the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
— Belarus is a dynamically developing country interested in cooperation with any investor. This confirms the holding of the next forum «Euroregion» Neman «, which is growing from year to year and is gaining momentum. It is nice to see that the Grodno region is among the leaders among the regions. The republic has created the maximum possible favorable conditions for investors. To date, more than 700 investment contracts worth nearly $ 5 billion have been completed in the country, nearly 400 contracts worth $ 20 billion have been completed. Belarus is open to investment and cooperation, said Yuri Chebotar.
As Alla Lomakina pointed, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, there are good examples of the implementation of large projects in the agro-industrial sector with the attraction of foreign capital in Grodno region. Lithuanian group of companies commissioned enterprises producing components for animal feed and biodiesel, a complex for the production of turkey meat. The German company has completed the third stage of the project for the construction of a poultry farm, the Dutch — on the cultivation of strawberries.
Genadijus Mäckälis, the Consul General of the Republic of Lithuania in Grodno, stressed that the forum had become a good starting point for the development of many business projects of Lithuanian and Belarusian companies. Close cooperation has been established in the field of culture, health care, and tourism.
Jaroslav Ksenzek, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Grodno, noted that following the example of cooperation between the Grodno region and the Podlask region, Lida and Polish Lomza intend to develop it, an agreement has already been signed, and Supraрасl is in turn.
Igor Konyakin, the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Brest, noted that Belarus was and invariably remains for Russia the main ally and partner. There are about 200 enterprises with Russian capital work in the Grodno region. The most significant investment cooperation project is the construction of a nuclear power plant in Ostrovets.
Vladimir Karyagin, the chairman of the Presidium of the High Coordinating Council of the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, presented the project “National Business Platform Belarus-2018” to the forum participants.
The Grodno region today is an example of a smart economic model and is based on actively attracting investments, creating comfortable conditions for business development, said Elena Bubenchik, Deputy Chairman of the Regional Executive Committee. In a small region of Belarus, world-class unique projects were implemented with investments from more than 17 countries of the world. In the foreign trade turnover, the region interacts with more than 117 mills of the world. Last year, we have the largest increase in investment in fixed assets — 27 percent, two thirds of the total volume of socks and hosiery products are made in the region. Woodworking enterprises in the woodworking cluster produce more than half of the republican volume of plate production. We are leaders in the growth of gross agricultural output in the country, as well as in the livestock industry. 99 percent of baby food is produced in the Grodno region. The region is trying to create such conditions under which people would like to come here not only to implement projects, but also to live.
As part of the business forum, Vladimir Kravtsov, the chairman of the regional executive committee, signed an agreement of intent on the implementation of an investment project to organize furniture production with a company from the Republic of Poland and to establish a woodworking industry with a company from Austria. A number of agreements have been signed between the Grodno City Executive Committee, the Grodno Regional Executive Committee, the Schuchinsky, Svislochsky District Executive Committees and companies of Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Moldova.
— The contracts signed on the business forum are the conditions for creating a normal investment climate. Business representatives should know that it’s safe, profitable and profitable to work in Grodno region, said Vladimir Kravtsov. Recently, many proposals have been made to create a furniture cluster. Domestic enterprises with foreign capital, which produce blanks for furniture, are already working. I would like the furniture to be made from us. There is a whole group of companies that have expressed a desire to engage in the production of furniture, contracts have been signed with some of them today. It is interesting for our region to develop the business of logistics. In the first part of the business forum, investment contracts worth about one hundred million dollars have already been concluded. It is assumed that during the work of the sections trade and investment agreements of more than two hundred million dollars will be signed.
Written by Irina Anikevich, Photos made by Artem Turlay and BelTA, Translated by Olga Ilyuk