Belarus is a country with untapped economic potential. To this end a high level forum was recently held in Vienna, bringing together Belarusian and European businesses, investors and policy makers, in order to identify opportunities and possibilities for further reform.
The first East Invest investment forum, entitled ‘Promoting European Investments in Belarus’ took place in Vienna, Austria in May 2016. The event, organised within the framework of the East Invest II project, brought together more than 120 companies, 90 of which were from European firms from Austria, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Latvia, Hungary and Slovakia.
The Belarus delegation comprised 37 companies and stakeholders including:
- The National Bank
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The Finance Ministry
- The Construction and Architecture Ministry
- The National Investment and Privatisation Agency
- The Belarus Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The primary goal of the Forum was to raise awareness of European investors about the opportunities and advantages of cooperation with Belarus. The investment forum aimed to connect businesses from both sides, which in turn would foster the European investments in Belarus.
The programme included:
- Panel discussions on banking, ICT and sustainable construction sectors in Belarus
- Identification of investment opportunities in Belarus as well as the prospects of economic cooperation with the European companies
- Success stories of European companies in Belarus
- B2B meetings between European and Belarus companies and discussions with governmental authorities from Belarus
Attendees heard that thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads between East and West, North and South, in the middle of Europe, Belarus presents a number of advantages for investors: competition is still scarce and there is room for growth and increased competitiveness across almost all sectors.
"Belarus is not on top of investors' list and investment in Belarus has a great untapped potential,” said Dirk Vantyghem, director of the Operations Department at EUROCHAMBRES. “There is a need to raise awareness in this direction."
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East Invest II is a regional investment and trade facilitation project for the economic development of the Eastern Neighbourhood region, launched in the framework of the European Eastern Partnership initiative.
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