Business mission of Spanish delegation
Belarus currently lacks a diplomatic presence in Spain, despite enjoying positive turnover
During the Belarusian-Spanish Business Forum
The Ambassador of Belarus to France and Spain (concurrently), Pavel Latushko, is convinced that our country needs to work more actively to promote exports to the Spanish market. He notes, “Belarus is a country of new opportunities for Spanish businesses. We do not know each other well yet and our contacts could be more active. In 2014, our turnover reached $450m and sadly, the balance was negative. With this in mind, we clearly need to work more actively to raise export volumes. It’s vital that Minsk and Madrid establish a legal base for co-operation. In particular, we are close to signing an agreement to collaborate in the field of economy and industry.”
The 1st Belarusian-Spanish Business Forum attracted representatives of over 20 companies: from such cities as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and Marbella. The foreign partners visited our enterprises and held negotiations at Belarusian ministries, discussing opportunities with concerns and local self-government bodies, learning about export and investment potential. Some contacts have been founded with Belarusian businessmen.
Vladimir Ulakhovich, the Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, underlines, “The Forum wonderfully illustrates a new attitude towards Belarus as a country at the junction of two major economic systems. We offer Europeans access to the Eurasian market, and vice versa. Amidst the events observed in our economic life, this Forum is truly important. Major European industrial countries are advancing towards Belarus, which is a positive signal.” The Spanish delegation was represented by such economic sectors as IT, construction and tool production. Sixty Belarusian companies took part, with both sides gaining benefit. The Chief Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of Spain to Russia, Luis Cacho Quesada, notes that Spanish enterprises are ready to study potential in the Belarusian market. “We are mostly interested in developing co-operation within the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union,” he says, adding that the Minsk Forum has contributed to the development of collaboration between Belarus and Spain — primarily, in the business sphere.
The Foreign Ministry expects some major investment projects to be forthcoming following the Spanish guests’ visit, perhaps building several waste processing facilities near Belarusian cities, and a hydro-electric station in the Republic.
By Veniamin Mikheev