The 22nd edition of the Belarusian-Polish economic forum Good Neighborliness will help restart relations between Belarus and Poland, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich said on the sidelines of the forum on 7 June, BelTA has learned.
He noted that the world does not know that many economic events that have such a long and dynamic history as the Good Neighborliness forum. “The initiative that was conceived as a local business event of the border regions of the two countries in 1995 grew into a large-scale economic forum that brought together over 440 business people from all over Belarus and more than 140 Polish delegates. They represent all economic sectors. The fact that today the forum was attended by the heads of the upper houses of the parliaments of the two countries will give a new energy to our trade and economic cooperation and serve as an impetus to explore new cooperation opportunities,” he said.
The forum is meant for business, first of all. However, high-ranking officials have already appreciated it as a platform to hold meetings and sessions of working groups and intergovernmental commissions.
This year the forum covers a broader range of matters. A section on interregional cooperation was added to the agenda in 2019. Another new topic for discussion is IT sector. “Both Belarus and Poland have good expertise in this field. Poland is the EU's leader in terms of startups. Belarus' successes in the IT sector are also widely known,” Vladimir Ulakhovich said. The forum has also become a meeting point for representatives of the academic community. “This is a new format, new approach, and we are looking forward to meaningful results,” the head of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
Last year saw a breakthrough in bilateral trade that reached $2.5 billion. “The most important thing is that we have a trade surplus. We supplied $1.344 billion worth of products to Poland. Our export portfolio features 495 product names,” he said.
The participants of the forum said repeatedly that they are interested in expanding bilateral trade. Vladimir Ulakhovich noted that the two countries are set to hit $3 billion in bilateral trade this year already.