AEB Proposals for Belarusian Investors Discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Maryna Barouka, the Deputy Chairman of the Association of European Business, took part in the meeting of the working group on the investment image of the Republic of Belarus abroad under the FIAC, which was held on August 9, 2017. In her speech, she suggested Belarusian producers and investors to study the experience of European companies, which they use to improve their investment image outside Europe and the EU.
- European investors are represented in all countries of the world. To lobby interests in the country of presence, in addition to embassies, trade missions, business clubs and similar organizations, European investors are united in the Associations – individual legal entities operating as public organizations. I think that with the right approach, Belarusian companies could use the experience of Europeans, - Maryna Barouka believes.
If Belarusian manufacturers created an association abroad, then such a non-profit association would be perceived by European government structures not as a separate Belarusian state enterprise or state structure, but as a part of the business community. And, by offering or promoting interest through a public association, for example in Europe, the voice of business is perceived not as the voice of a particular company or a state, but as a voice of investors united by a single goal.
- The emergence of the idea to establish the Association of Belarusian Business in Europe requires further analysis of the situation. It is important to understand whether Belarusian companies have the potential to create such a public association and what further actions can be taken to develop this proposal or refuse it, - Maryna Barouka noted.
The meeting participants discussed the proposed initiative. As an attempt to unite Belarusian enterprises to protect their interests in the EU, the "Belarus-EU Coordination Group" was created in 2016. However, this group is not a public organization of Belarusian companies abroad. It should be understood that the Belarusian business in Europe is represented by private companies that have broken into its market and traditionally state enterprises. Private companies that have offices in the EU countries are EPAM, IBA Group, Itransition, SAM Solutions, ASBIS, Wargaming, Alutech, Asstra, Santa Bremor. Together, these companies could form the core of the future Association of Belarusian Business in Europe, if they are interested in this.
- It seems to me that the task of this working group under the FIAС is also bringing to the business information about those image tools that are used by our European partners, and which could be used by Belarusian companies in a format convenient for them, - Maryna Barouka added.
In general, it was noted that the Belarusian business does not seek to unite, especially abroad, and most likely the creation of such an Association as an instrument to protect interests is premature.
Pavel Daneyko, the general director of the IPM Business School, a member of the AEB Supervisory Board, noted that a number of Belarusian enterprises are trying to position themselves in the world market as European or American companies, without being tied to Belarus. In this regard, he proposed for the positive investment image of Belarus to attract to the participation in investment forums, conferences and similar events people from Belarus who became top managers of large foreign companies.