HARARE, 30 January (BelTA) - Belarus will discuss the possibility of establishing a hub in Africa to trade its products. The issue will be talked over during the upcoming state visit of the Belarusian president to Zimbabwe, Charge d'Affaires of Belarus to Zimbabwe Dmitry Sakun told the media.
Speaking about the logistics of delivery of goods to such distant countries as Zimbabwe, the diplomat said that there have always been logistical difficulties, and especially recently these costs have increased significantly. Nevertheless, many European and American manufacturers successfully supply their equipment to African countries. Dmitry Sakun is confident that Belarus can do the same.
“The Zimbabwean market is capacious. There is quite a big demand for a variety of products here. Local producers cannot cope with the demand of the local population. Food products, equipment, clothes, fertilizers are in short supply here. Belarus can offer its help,” the diplomat said.
As for the price of the goods taking into account all costs related to logistics, Dmitry Sakun said that it is always possible to find some options with the local partners to work out the logistics solutions. “Even bringing equipment or products here and then entering neighboring markets is also one of the options of penetrating African markets. Why not? As part of the visit we will hold negotiations to somehow go for interaction with each other and develop such a place, a hub, which will let us move to neighboring countries as well,” he said.
The diplomat stressed that although Zimbabwe is not a rich country in terms of economy, but there are people there who are glad and willing to cooperate with businesses from Belarus. There are also some peculiarities of the local character, the culture of doing business. “A lot of people do not understand what Africa is like. How are we used to negotiating with neighboring countries? You call, write a letter, somehow negotiate remotely. That will not work with Zimbabwe and other African countries-South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya. You have to be there in person. When people do not see you, they do not perceive you,” Dmitry Sakun said.
In his words, even before the opening of the embassy in Zimbabwe, which happened in 2022, the cooperation with this country was carried out through the Belarusian embassy in South Africa. “Being a thousand kilometers away from the capital of Harare, nothing worked out for us. Everything was very slow. There was no clarity. Once we got here, I personally held thirty meetings in the first month. Right away you can feel the result. You can feel that the Zimbabweans are happy to see you. I am sure Belarus will meet all their expectations,” the diplomat said.