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Belgian business eager to step up cooperation with Belarus

Belgian business plans to step up cooperation with Belarus, said Arkady Arianoff, General Manager of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for Russia and Belarus, at a meeting of business circles of Belgium and Belarus on 13 October.

“The desire of Belgian businessmen to promote contacts with Belarus is on the rise,” remarked Arkady Arianoff. “Unfortunately, this year the trade turnover between our countries has shrunk due to the world crisis. I think in a year or a year and a half when the economies are recovered, our cooperation will be stepped up. In addition, the Belgian Foreign Ministry intends to invigorate the political dialogue with Belarus in 2010 when Belgium will preside over the European Union.”

The delegation of the Belgian business circles includes representatives of eight companies specializing in various economic areas. All of them are interested in establishing contacts and in cooperation with Belarusian companies.

Willy Ghyselinck, owner of the Belgian company Ghyselinck, told media that the company plans to sign a contract with Belarusian Belshina for the delivery of an automated tire fitting line. The Ghyselinck company also considers the possibility of setting up a Belarusian-Belgian enterprise and investing in its development.

According to First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nikolai Sakhar, as of 1 January 2009 Belarus had 11 companies with a share of Belgian capital, including four joint ventures and seven foreign-owned enterprises. $1.56 million has been invested in their authorized funds. A total of $5.688 million in Belgian investments was poured into Belarus in 2008. Meanwhile, in H1 2009 the trade between the two countries amounted to $172.76 million, 66.8% as against the same period of last year.

The delegation of Belgian business circles is expected to stay in Belarus till 16 October. The Belgian companies will take part in the operation of the Belarusian Energy Forum. Arkady Arianoff said that visits to Belarusian companies, meetings with officials of the Energy Ministry, the Economy Ministry, and probably the Foreign Ministry are planned.


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