Long-time Neighbours Need to Share Awareness, Plus Trade & Investment

emerging europe belarus outlook ebrd

Read the Outlook on Belarus special report


Alexander Averyanov

About Alexander Averyanov

Alexander Averyanov is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Poland. Prior to that he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Ministers. Also between 2004 and 2009, he was Head of Trade and Economic Section at the Embassy to Poland. He is a graduate of the Minsk State Linguistic University and the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Diploma of Excellence in World Economy and International Economic Relations.

Belarus and Poland share a long common history, perhaps not as much over the six decades since the Second World War or the Great Patriotic War, but definitely throughout the centuries before that, when Belarus was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which formed a union with the Kingdom of Poland. 

Today, although the two countries share a border of over 400-kilometres long, as well as the famous Belovezhskaya Pushcha, there is still a lot of room left for raising awareness and knowledge about one another. Belarusians travel to Poland often and I believe Belarus could be an interesting destination for Poles as well.

However, today, I would like to focus on the economic aspects of the Belarusian-Polish relationship, which our country would like to enlarge. The 20th Belarusian-Polish Economic Forum Good Neighbourhood 2016, took place on 24-25 of October in Minsk, and was an excellent platform for mutual engagement to grow significantly. 

The Belarusian Head of State, Alexander Lukashenko and the Head of the Government, Andrei Kobiakov, together with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Development and Finance of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, discussed their joint interests and the need to increase the collaboration. This was concurred with by the numerous businesses from both countries, including over 150 entrepreneurs from Poland.

It is important to emphasise that Belarus has recently been sending very clear positive signals to European business. Our country was hit by the recession that was caused by the economic crisis in Russia, but now it is opening up for foreign investors; offering the best investment opportunities, in free economic areas or in small settlements and towns. It is also now permitting an increase in the participation of private capital in the economy. In addition, since July 2016, investment projects can be conducted within the framework of public-private partnerships, which considerably enhances the possibilities.

In the coming couple of years almost 60 state-owned enterprises are to be privatised. During his visit to Minsk, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister discussed how Polish companies could participate in the privatisation process and in which companies Polish firms could potentially invest. Mr Morawiecki believes Belarus could also benefit from Polish know-how in the insurance and banking sectors. Also, during the Forum, the Warsaw Stock Exchange signed a memorandum of understanding, the goal of which will be to encourage Belarusian firms to look for financing at the stock exchange, through initial public offerings (IPOs).

Today’s Belarus very much resembles most of the CEE countries in the mid-90s when there were still plenty of large state-owned companies with huge potential that were looking to be restructured and modernised. There is good access to a well-qualified labour force; there are lots of developmental perspectives and a huge demand for new technologies, innovations and foreign investments.

Poland’s transformation to a market economy has been very successful and a large number of Polish companies already compete on the global market. The Polish capital market has grown to be one of the biggest in the region. In a similar way to  several other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland has been a member of the European Union for over a decade now. Taking all that into account, Belarus’ cooperation with the countries of the region could be mutually profitable.

We are very happy that there are already plenty of Polish firms operating in Belarus. At the end of 2015, there were over 350 companies with Polish capital in Belarus, which meant that Poland ranked seventh among the largest investors in the country. At that time, Polish companies had invested $195 million. 

During the Forum, the Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that during the first seven months of 2016, Belarus’ imports amounted to $790 million (four and half per cent higher than in the same period in 2015), and exports — $490 million (seven per cent more than in the first seven months of 2016). He believes that growth can be sustained in the coming years and that the value of bilateral trade should exceed $4 billion, in 2018.

The Forum was focussed on new openings in Belarus for Polish companies and it would be a great privilege for me to welcome more Polish investors in Belarus. In the end, the two countries have been very close to one another for centuries. It is high time to bring them even closer, both by raising awareness about one another as well as through trade and investment.


The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.


Belarus Is One of the Top Outsourcing Destinations of 2016

Belarus 2020: Turning the Vicious Circle Into an Upward Spiral

Belarus’s Election Tests the EU’s Global Strategy

Brexit Makes Waves Across the European Union and Beyond

Cautious Upturn in Emerging Europe Haunted by the Spectre of Uncertainty

Donald Trump

Why Is Belarus Tech Booming?

Foreign Investors: Belarus Offers Opportunities But Further Improvements Are Needed

UK Shores: the New Frontier, a View on a Series of Fortunate Events

The Great Stone Industrial Park — Making Doing Business Easy in Minsk

Belarus: On the Way to a Market Economy?

Invest in Belarus: looking beyond politics to the future

The Belarusian Financial Sector: An Industry in the Process of Restructuring

New investors interested in Belarus’ Great Stone Industrial Park

Foreigners choose Minsk and Gomel as Belarus’ most attractive FDI destinations

Belarus Is Making the First Steps onto the International Finance Floor

Emerging Europe Live: CEE — The Outsourcing Destination

Will European Business and Institutions Bolster the New Trends That Have Appeared in Belarus?

Italy and Belarus: A Relationship Based on Complementarities and History

Falling Student Numbers and Declining R&D Result From Lack of Funds

The EU Is Encouraging Belarus to Join the World Trade Organisation

PandaDoc — Rolling Sales Procedures Together So Everyone Succeeds

HTP: Belarus’ Engineers Are Leading a Cool Revolution

Belarus US Business Relations Thrive as Conditions Improve

World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016 Resume For Emerging Europe

High-Tech Park in Minsk is growing rapidly

The Shopping Experience Is Set To Go Global in Belarus from 2017 Onwards

The Next Four Months Crucial For the Belarus-EU Relations

Belarus Is Where the New Silk Road Heads For Europe

Belarus: Changing Old Ideas And Mixing With the New in Belarus’ Export Market

The essence of the Customs Union is protectionism

“e-Belarus”: Embracing the Internet and its Possibilities

Belarus Has Set an Example for Others to Follow

The Deep Roots of Currency Crises in the Former Soviet Union

The Eurasian Economic Union Fails to Bring Belarus Closer to Big Brother

Belarus: Navigating the geopolitical storm

Are Labour Shortages Driving Economic Growth?

OECD: Belarus Has to Find Its Own Belarusian Model to Emerge

Belarusian Economy on a Diet to Change its Financial Outlook

The UK and Belarus: A Partnership to Introduce the Real Belarus to Europe

The Belarusian Economy: The Challenges of Stalled Reforms

Innovation Brings Great Opportunities to the Belarusian Economy

One Belt One Road: a Big Task for Europe

Encouraging SME’s Development Will Help Build Belarusian Economy

Belarus: MOST Builds a Bridge to the Future

Belarus Is Ready to Begin With Venture Capital Investments

The Proof of a Country’s Readiness to Attract Foreign Investors Lies in the Development of the Insurance Market

EBRD Emerging Europe Outlook on Belarus 2016

Belarus Has To Make an Extra Effort To Change Investors’ Perceptions

Lukashenka seeks to avoid commitment to Russia’s geostrategic goals

Belarus: The Importance Of Diversification

Emerging Europe and the EBRD host the Outlook on Belarus conference in London

Belarus and the EBRD:
Working to Expand the Country’s Strengths and Success

Belarus and Singapore Share the Same Factors for Economic Success

Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Business Opportunities in Belarus Encourage Outside Interest

Belarus is Bringing Opportunities for European Companies

Great Stone

The Belarusian real estate market is on the up

Central And Eastern Europe At the World Property Market

Will the New Five-day Visa-free Regime Encourage More Visitors to Belarus?

‘No’ To a Monetary Union With Russia

Belarus is the most creative EEU country

Belarusian Tech Companies Lead a Global Technological Advance in Outsourcing and Product Development

From Denmark to Belarus — A Personal Experience of Business

Brexit Is a Great Opportunity to Attract Foreign Investors to Belarus

Young Well-Paid IT Specialists Are Making Belarus Known Internationally

Germany Is Not Letting Belarus’ Small Downturns Put it off Looking for Investment Opportunities

Outsourcing in Germany: Stop Talking at and Start Talking to

The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

Winds of Change for Belarus’ Reinsurance Industry?

Belarus-Turkey Investment Forum to increase investment and trade between the two countries

Belarusian Economic Recovery May Downgrade Intended Reforms for Competitiveness

The Reality Is More Interesting Than the Misconceptions

The Belarusian Banking Sector Moving Towards Modernisation Despite Some Challenges

Emerging Europe Live: Life in Belarus As Seen by Foreigners

Smart, reliable and promising

Bringing Belarus’ Cultural Past to Life for Belarusians and the World

Breaking trade barriers with CIS has never been easier

FocusEconomics: Belarusian Economy to Grow in Q4 2016 and Onwards

Veni, Vidi, Vici, Or My Personal Experience of Doing Business in Belarus

Germany and Belarus: Thinking Globally Acting Locally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *