MINSK, 19 March (BelTA) – Minsk is hosting the fourth meeting of the Austrian-Belarusian Business Council to discuss possible implementation of joint projects in food industry and energy, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich told the media on 19 March, BelTA has learned.
Belarus and Austria enjoy vibrant cooperation. The two countries have been implementing a number of major investment projects. “We need to continue working in this vein. At present we are negotiating several more investment projects. We hope that progress will be made in their implementation in the near future. The topics under discussion include food processing (supplies of equipment and new manufacturing facilities) and high-tech projects in energy, equipment manufacturing, including packaging equipment,” said Vladimir Ulakhovich.
Over the past eight years, Austrian investment in the economy of Belarus amounted to about $6 billion, including some $300 million in 2017 and $296 million in 2018. The trade between the two countries exceeded $170 million last year. “We are not satisfied with this level of trade. The potential is still hugely untapped. Part of the Belarusian products goes through Austria to third countries. I think this is not bad, but we need to clear this cooperation of additional burdens that are sometimes associated with mediators,” said the chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Co-chairman of the Austrian-Belarusian Business Council, Vice President of the Association of Industrialists of Austria Hubert Bertsch stressed that Belarusian companies provide many opportunities for cooperation with Austrian companies. “The Great Stone Industrial Park and free economic zones give great opportunities for investing. Austrian firms are studying these opportunities and already start using them,” he added.
Attending the meeting of the Austrian-Belarusian Business Council are representatives of 13 Austrian companies engaged in pharmaceutics, equipment manufacturing, IT and other sectors. Over 150 businessmen of the two countries have gathered to discuss cooperation prospects.
The fifth meeting of the Austrian-Belarusian Business Council will take place in Vienna in 2020.