New and promising ideas for interaction

10th Belarusian-Lithuanian Economic Forum, hosted by Mogilev, opens new page for business co-operation

By Pavel Minokhin

10th Belarusian-Lithuanian Economic Forum, hosted by Mogilev, opens new page for business co-operation


10th Belarusian-Lithuanian Economic Forum in Mogilev
10th Belarusian-Lithuanian Economic Forum in Mogilev

As neighbouring states, the economies of Belarus and Lithuania are closely connected. For the past six years, Belarus has been registered among Lithuania’s ten most important trade partners — together with Germany, Russia, Latvia, the Netherlands and the UK.

While exporting automobile technologies and spare parts, as well as medications and food products to Belarus, the Lithuanian Republic imports oil products and ferrous metal goods. Businessmen from our neighbouring country are actively investing in the Belarusian economy, focusing primarily on wood processing and trade. Two enterprises with Lithuanian capital are successfully operating in the Mogilev free economic zone: VMG Industry LLC, producing wood chipboard, furniture parts from veneer and cabinet-type furniture; and Mebelain LLC, which specialises in furniture production.

In total, there over 500 joint ventures countrywide using Lithuanian capital, and several more are soon to appear — including a factory to process turkey meat and a plant to manufacture elements for solar batteries. Dozens of millions of Euros are being invested into these joint enterprises, to the benefit of the Belarusian economy.

Lithuania depends on Belarusian partners, with 30 percent of cargo shipped through Klaipeda Port arriving from Belarus — and volumes constantly rising. In 2005, 3.5m tonnes of Belarusian produce was shipped through the port while, in 2013, this figure reached almost 10 million tonnes. Klaipeda is used to ship 100 percent of nitrogen and 90 percent of potash fertilisers exported by Belaruskali. In fact, the latter has acquired shares in one of the port operators, being its co-founder. This happened directly after the Belarusian-Lithuanian Economic Forum, hosted by Klaipeda last year.

Participants of the forum (around 80 Lithuanian businessmen attended) discussed issues of co-operation in the sphere of innovation, alongside opportunities and prospects for collaboration in industry, as well as the development of transport and logistics.

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich has praised the forum for solving many issues, believing that serious global economic challenges require consolidation of effort by neighbours, to overcome the crisis. The governments of Belarus and Lithuania should create conditions for beneficial interaction between the two countries’ businessmen, with priority given to long-term projects. The PM especially underlined that his tête-à-tête meeting with his Lithuanian colleague, Algirdas Butkevičius, tackled the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union, from January 1st, 2015.

“This new reality cannot be escaped anywhere. We agree that co-operation between our two countries could become a bridge between two large establishments — the EU and EEU.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius noted that Lithuania was and remains interested in developing ties with Belarus, being neighbours connected by common history. He noted, “2015 is UNESCO’s Year of Oginski so it’s an opportunity for Belarus and Lithuania to worthily present our shared heritage to the world.”
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