Results of the first Belarus-Uzbekistan Women’s Business Forum
A large-scale plenary meeting of the first Belarus-Uzbekistan Women’s Business Forum was held at the National Library. An exhibition-presentation of products and goods of the two countries was also held here. The day before, Uzbek guests visited some Belarusian enterprises, and a parliamentary delegation led by Chairwoman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva met with the leadership of Belarus at various levels. This meeting can be called a key one in terms of summing up the results and laying down new vectors for expanding co-operation, which was agreed upon by the presidents of Belarus and Uzbekistan.
Distance is not a barrier
Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova confidently noted that all agreements, arrangements and contracts concluded during the forum are just the beginning, and the results obtained will multiply, “There is an opportunity for mutually beneficial co-operation to ensure annual growth in trade turnover, development of industrial co-operation and an increase in the share of innovations.
Belarus is ready to steadily supply products which are in demand in Uzbekistan’s market, including meat, dairy and other food products, products of woodworking and pharmaceutical industries, and offer a wide range of fabrics. We see prospects in co-operation with Uzbekistan’s mining companies for the supply of our machinery. We need to develop banking, construction, transportation services, geological exploration, IT sector. Furthermore, we are interested in interaction with Uzbekistan in culture and tourism. We are ready to build tourist routes to friendly countries, despite the distance.”
Natalya Kochanova proposed to work on the issue of preparing an educational programme on the topic of women’s entrepreneurship, creating a unified information platform, organising events for mutual consultation and providing methodological assistance. And also to take under parliamentary supervision the businesses born on the sidelines of the forum.
“In the context of the tasks set by the Heads of our States, we hope that this forum will become a traditional event under the auspices of the upper houses of parliaments and will be recognised as an integral element of the strategic Belarusian-Uzbek partnership. In general, the agenda of bilateral women’s co-operation cannot be limited to purely entrepreneurial topics. There are many pressing global problems that we need to be involved in solving,” the Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly emphasised.
Deepen partnership step by step
Chairwoman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis Tanzila Narbayeva specified several areas in which Uzbekistan is interested in intensifying co-operation with Belarus:
• expansion of partnerships in the field of light industry, exchange of advanced technologies in the textile, clothing and knitting industries, development of co-operation between manufacturers of fabrics, clothing, footwear, fur and leather products;
• development of connections in the IT-sphere, joint development of digital products for entrepreneurship, especially for women;
• strengthening of co-operation in the field of medicine and education. The priority areas of interaction could be the industrial production of medicines, transplantation, the creation of medical clusters of institutions and branches of leading universities, including medical ones;
• introduction of new interaction mechanisms for the development of agriculture, the food industry, advanced training of specialists in the agrarian sector of Uzbekistan at Belarusian enterprises and higher educational institutions.
Work and expand the range
Among the partner countries of Belarus, Uzbekistan is confidently in the top ten in terms of trade turnover — last year it amounted to more than $500 million. Of course, this is not the limit. Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov explained that the basis of Belarusian exports to Uzbekistan are meat and dairy products, wood products, pharmaceutical products, tractors, tractor units, and so on. At the same time, imports of goods from Uzbekistan are represented by light industry products, as well as vegetables, fruits, copper wire, pipes, and so on.
In Belarus today there are 84 organisations with Uzbek capital in the field of production of special vehicles, tractors, and footwear. And more than a hundred enterprises are registered in Uzbekistan, the founders of which are residents of the Republic of Belarus.
Create joint ventures
Chairwoman of the Bellegprom concern Tatiana Lugina focused on the prospects for interaction between enterprises in the field of light industry, “The economies of Belarus and Uzbekistan are very similar in the strategic development of the light industry; the Heads of our States paid a lot of attention to this industry. Last year, the turnover between the countries in light industry goods exceeded $165 million. But we are ready to expand co-operation in the supply of wool and linen fabrics, fabrics for school uniforms, and special purposes.”
Preserve folk traditions
Chairwoman of the Committee on Family and Women Affairs under the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan Ozoda Parpibayeva emphasised that this business forum is a unique platform for exchanging experiences between women entrepreneurs in Belarus and Uzbekistan, ensuring gender equality, identifying shortcomings and taking measures to eliminate them, “Supporting the family, ensuring the legal rights and interests of women, increasing their economic, social and political activity are identified as one of the important vectors of the development strategy of the new Uzbekistan. And participation in the sectional platforms of the Belarusian-Uzbek forum gives good results in these areas.
A memorandum was signed with the Belarusian Union of Women, thanks to which they began to draw up a joint road map. We will co-operate regionally in absolutely all areas and preserve folk traditions. This will contribute to the development of our states and international relations.”
See and try
In front of the building of the National Library, an outdoor exposition of Belarusian equipment was unfolded. Amkodor, BelGee, MTZ, MAZ, Belkommunmash, Belshina and many others presented their products here. At the exhibition site, one could taste chocolate and sweets from Kommunarka, zefir and marmalade from Krasny Pishchevik, various types of biscuits from Slodych. Kamvol, Elema and Belwest also presented their products. In general, 72 enterprises and organisations from Belarus, as well as 26 enterprises from Uzbekistan, took part in the exhibition-presentation.
ACCENT As a result of the forum, 14 memorandums and co-operation agreements were signed, including an agreement on the establishment of a joint leather and footwear production, as well as 14 commercial contracts worth over Br60 million, or 226.5 billion Uzbek sums.