Formula for success
Belarus may be almost unknown to the residents of remote Indonesia and Singapore, despite diplomatic relations with Indonesia being established almost 20 years ago, but delegations have become more active in the past 4-5 years. Since 2009, several visits have occurred and, in 2011, the Belarusian Embassy opened in Jakarta.We share similar views on a range of principal international issues within the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement and both advocate a multi-polar world order; our political background for developing efficient economic interaction certainly looks favourable. President Alexander Lukashenko recently visited Indonesia and Singapore, accompanied by a large group of top ranking officials and entrepreneurs, as you can read in [b]Potential Efficiently Revealed in Asia.[/b]
We share similar views on a range of principal international issues within the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement and both advocate a multi-polar world order; our political background for developing efficient economic interaction certainly looks favourable. President Alexander Lukashenko recently visited Indonesia and Singapore, accompanied by a large group of top ranking officials and entrepreneurs, as you can read in Potential Efficiently Revealed in Asia.
The Belarusian President also visited the United Arab Emirates. Although our close collaboration with South-East Asia is relatively new, our relationship with the UAE has a long history. Bilateral relationships are cha-racterised by a high degree of trust and active political contacts. As far as trade-economic co-operation is concerned, this is steadily gaining momentum. Last year, Belarusian exports to the UAE totalled $21m while imports stood at $17m — a relatively small figure. However, several years ago, even these figures did not exist. The dynamics are such that mutual trade in recent years has gradually expanded; enterprises with Belarusian capital are now operating in the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, companies with UAE capital are registered in Belarus and businessmen from the Emirates are investing in our economy. This topic is further explored in Partnership Knows No Borders.
Belarus is known in many countries through its famous industrial brands, MAZ, BelAZ and MTZ, which have long enjoyed a foothold abroad. They have been, and remain, permanent representatives of Belarusian foreign economic potential. BelAZ will be manufacturing up to 1,000 automobile giants (with a load capacity of 90-450 tonnes) within a couple of years, at its new production facilities. Three ‘Whales’ of Export notes that nobody would manufacture such expensive vehicles without already having buyers; accordingly, BelAZ has several potential clients ready to place orders for its 450 tonne vehicle (currently under construction). Russian and Latin American companies are the most likely customers; of course, only a select few will be able to make use of such gigantic excavators and trucks, which limits the potential market. Indonesia, for example, is only ready to use smaller vehicles at present, ordering five 45 tonne BelAZ vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian Automobile Works has prepared another innovation: the world’s ‘smallest’ heavy-duty dump truck (90 tonne capacity) to be coupled with electromechanical transmission. This brings ease of control and better efficiency, keeping costs down. BelAZ is also designing a truck which can be ‘driven’ remotely, by radio. Such innovations have made BelAZ a confident leader within the market; it already manufactures a third of the world’s heavy-duty dump trucks. In 2012, BelAZ exported to 32 countries, including such European states as Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, which use Belarusian quarry machinery to extract mineral resources.
Trucks by Minsk Automobile Works (MAZ) are less powerful yet also generate significant export revenue. In March 2013, MAZ signed its first contract to supply 50 right-hand drive dump trucks to Indonesia. Two vehicles were initially sent for demonstration at the Indonesia International Buses, Truck & Components Exhibition in Jakarta, with successful trials following. A delegation from MAZ also visited the South-African Republic, resulting in an order for at least 100 vehicles and, in 2013, the same number of trucks, trailers and pull tractors are to be sent to Ghana.
Minsk Tractor Works’ strategy of conquering world markets relies on assembly production in various countries: over 20 such facilities across 12 states, on various continents. Due to this alone, in 2012, the company managed to supply its machinery to 60 countries. Minsk tractors enjoy especial popularity in South-East Asia, for their ease of control and servicing, reliability and high efficiency. Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam, alongside Iran, India and Pakistan, are good markets for MTZ. In 2013, MTZ began to assemble vehicles in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh. The largest batch of Minsk tractors was recently dispatched to Venezuela, where it’s also planned to set up assembly, for onward sale across Latin America.
Exporting enterprises abound in Belarus, ready to conquer new markets. However, we need investors to help develop contemporary technologies, using regional resources.
The early 1990s were a worrying time for one of the Belarusian regions most affected by the Chernobyl disaster: the Gomel Region. The question of how best to revive this huge territory, to enable residents to return and build plans for the future, was hotly debated. Naturally, solutions have been found, regardless of difficulties. One of the first steps to economic recovery has been the establishment of the Gomel-Raton free economic zone. Without a stable economy, it’s impossible to bring social benefits to the local population; the FEZ aims to help the region gain economic independence, generating jobs and revenue. Read about its success in From Idea to Millions in Investments.
Strategy and tactics are always confirmed by results. If these are evident, then plans are clearly successful. Of course, long distances increase the likelihood of obstacles and failures but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so persistence is required. Preparation is the way forward, in our individual lives and in relation to the wider economy.
By Viktor Kharkov