Warm weather and business relationships

№ 4, 2023

The Commercial Counselor Day, a meeting of foreign diplomatic corps representatives that has already become a tradition, was organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on November 10-11. More than thirty heads and representatives of the diplomatic missions of 18 countries accredited in Belarus visited the Vitebsk Region. Being hosted by the Vitebsk Region for the first time, this year's Commercial Counselor Day was somehow special, as it celebrated a small anniversary – it was held for the tenth time.

Still on the way to Vitebsk, interpreters of foreign diplomats diligently tried to explain why this Belarusian city is referred to as both the northern and cultural capital of the republic. However, upon arrival, the acquaintance with Vitebsk began with a visit to the local production facilities, Vitstroitekhmash enterprise and Vitebsk Meat Processing Plant, where foreign guests were presented with products, confirming the region's export potential for future trade cooperation.


As it has become a Commercial Counselor Day tradition, diplomats laid flowers at the monument to soldiers-liberators. It was the Memorial Complex "To the Liberators of Vitebsk – Soviet Soldiers, Guerilla and Underground Fighters", located on the largest Victory Square in Belarus.

Commercial counselors continued their acquaintance with the potential of the Vitebsk Region and its enterprises at a meeting at the Regional Executive Committee, chaired by Alexander Subbotin, who presented the diplomats with the region's investment and export resources, assuring them that the Vitebsk Region is ready to provide all possible assistance in intensifying cooperation with foreign partners.

"Virtually all economy sectors are represented in our region, from petrochemistry to the production of a wide range of consumer goods," Alexander Subbotin said. "We are the only producers of carpets, glass fabrics, linen fabrics, polyethylene, acrylic fiber, and many other items in the republic. Almost half of all the shoes, power and optical cables produced in the country come from here. Enterprises in the region have developed high competencies in the production of veterinary drugs, water treatment equipment, telescopic lifts and additives for lubricants. Many products are manufactured jointly with companies from the countries you represent today. We are ready to provide all possible assistance in intensifying such cooperation," the Governor emphasized.

Alexander Subbotin welcomed the decision to hold the Commercial Counselor Day events in the Vitebsk Region and assured that the executive committee is always ready to present the economic, cultural, trade and tourism potential of the region. Vitebsk enterprises maintain constant communication with foreign partners on trade and economic cooperation. And in June of next year, Vitebsk will host the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia, to which the Governor warmly invited the guests.

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The meeting with the head of the region was followed by B2D negotiations of foreign commercial counselors with the Vitebsk business circles.

Before the negotiations started, the Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mikhael Miatlikov, emphasized the uniqueness of the anniversary Commercial Counselor Day as an event that allows foreign diplomats to get acquainted with the economic, tourism and cultural potential of Belarusian regions. "Vitebsk has welcomed guests with warm weather and warm hearts. I am pleased that we have once again gathered such a representative group of diplomats who, like us, were preparing and waiting for this meeting. I am confident that, as before, it will serve to expand partnerships of our enterprises and promote domestic exports," the head of the BelCCI said.

The cultural part of the Commercial Counselor Day was dedicated to presenting the unique historical and cultural heritage of Belarus. An excursion to the female Spaso-Efrosinievsky monastery was organized for the foreign guests in the ancient Belarusian city of Polotsk. After the monastery tour, the diplomats visited the Sophia Cathedral.

Igor Markovich, the Chairman of the Polotsk District Executive Committee, greeted the foreign guests and presented them with symbolic passports of Polotsk citizens, explaining that such a "document" gives them the right to visit the oldest Belarusian city at any time. This unusual gift caused expected delight due to its originality.

Then, under the arches of the Sophia Cathedral, the foreign guests could admire Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, one of the most widely recognisable works in the organ repertoire by Johann Sebastian Bach, which needs no translation to any language. This was a beautiful and solemn point in the diplomats' familarization tour of the Vitebsk Region.

The Commercial Counselor Day is an important event for promoting the economic potential of Belarus, a country with an open economy that is looking forward to mutually beneficial international cooperation. The annual holding by the Chamber of this Day is aimed to present the economic, tourism and cultural potential of the Republic of Belarus to representatives of foreign diplomatic missions.

100_03_09.jpg H.E. Jose Antonio Morato Tavares,

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the Russian Federation (accredited to the Republic of Belarus):

"I am impressed by the potential and development of the economic and industrial sectors of the Vitebsk Region. All participants of the Commercial Counselor Day had a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the possibilities of trade cooperation with leading enterprises of the Vitebsk Region in the fields of engineering, pharmaceuticals production and agriculture.

I would also like to express my special gratitude to the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for organizing B2D negotiations, where foreign diplomats had the opportunity to learn more about Belarusian enterprises in personal conversations, as well as to assess the potential for further cooperation. From my point of view, this format is very effective in finding and establishing mutually beneficial partnerships of our countries.

On behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia accredited to the Republic of Belarus, and on my own behalf, I would like to express hope for further fruitful cooperation with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and potential partners from the business and industrial sectors of the Vitebsk Region, which would become an excellent platform for the development and strengthening of economic, trade and investment relations between Belarus and Indonesia."

100_03_10.jpgSergey Ivanov,

Director of Polymerconstruction Unitary Enterprise:

"We were glad to accept the invitation to participate in the B2D negotiations organized within the Commercial Counselor Day program in the Vitebsk Region. I found the meeting with the trade representative of the Russian Federation, Yury Zolotarev, to be very promising. He promised us assistance in presenting our range of comprehensive solutions in the Russian regions where our company is not yet represented (currently, we have regional offices of Polymerconstruction in seven regions of Russia).

The meeting with a diplomat from Azerbaijan was also interesting as we are preparing to participate in an exhibition in this country in March next year. We discussed some important issues with the diplomat and found confirmation that water treatment, be it wastewater or natural water, is of great interest to them, just like the technologies we can offer. Therefore, in addition to the exhibition format of our future trip, the commercial counselor promised to assist us in preparing working interactions during the exhibition with relevant ministries and interested companies. Such meetings greatly increase the effectiveness of business trips.

As for Vietnam and Kazakhstan, we have only come to preparing pre-projects with representatives from these countries. The dialogues suggested they are primarily interested in distrubution strategies in their regions. Venezuela and Brazil are also very interesting directions, but here we need to solve complex logistics tasks, which should be considered with localization in mind."

100_03_11.jpgSergey Sytov,

Deputy Director General for Marketing and Trade of Vityaz JSC:

"A meeting with such a representative group of diplomats, especially from such diverse countries, is undoubtedly a good opportunity for businesses to start new projects and receive prompt feedback. Sometimes this requires much more time, taking into account the peculiarities of foreign business correspondence, clarifying questions, and so on.

As we had planned, we talked to commercial counselors of seven countries. As expected, our charging stations and medical equipment were in focus.

Direct meetings also gave an understanding that finished products are not the only thing our potential partners are interested in. They want to produce something similar, so the topic of joint production arose in the dialogues, including the possibility of our supplies of pre-finished goods of a certain configuration for further final assembly in other countries.

Our colleagues openly spoke about their interest in creating jobs and products of their own production. Almost all local governments set the task of localizing certain products in their country. Therefore, the dialogues were as open as possible, confidential, without any language barriers. We are expecting the first results to come very soon."

100_03_12.jpgNatalya Vorobyova,

General Director of the Vitebsk Branch of the BelCCI:

"Undoubtedly, meetings with representatives of foreign diplomatic missions have proved to be effective for deepening cooperation and promoting the image of our country. I would particularly emphasize the importance of holding such meetings in regions with visits to enterprises and personal contacts with entrepreneurs. I see the event as a real working opportunity to establish new business contacts, ask questions related to increasing the export of products, entering new markets and voicing problems in interacting with foreign partners in order to find ways to solve them.

I thank everyone for accepting the invitation, for the interest shown in cooperation with the Vitebsk Region and for active participation in the event. I wish every success in the implementation of agreements and commitment to long-term cooperation. Looking forward to seeing you again!"