The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Treaty was signed in Astana on 29 May 2014 and will take effect in 2015. The EEU will initially include Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. Soon the economic union of four will welcome Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan is considering the possibility of joining the organization. According to experts, the Eurasian Economic Union will be the world’s sixth biggest economy with the aggregate GDP of almost $3 trillion. The union is expected to generate another $1 trillion as a result of integration by 2030. A 170–million–strong market with a free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce promises great prospects for business and investors.
One of the stages of Eurasian integration is the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on the basis of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space (SES). The Eurasian Economic Union Treaty was signed by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on 29 May 2014. The Treaty consists of 28 chapters, 118 articles and 32 addenda. Although the EEU will become operational on 1 January 2015, the formation of its economic dimension is already underway and will continue long into the future.
Considerable progress has been made recently in promoting the integration in the post–Soviet space. The concept of Eurasian integration has been revised to accommodate the new geopolitical and geo–economic situation. The concept is now being implemented by the most prepared members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The years 2010–2012 can be rightly called a breakthrough period. Within a very short time Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan established the Customs Union (2010). The formation of the Single Economic Space was launched on 1 January 2012. These were the first viable international integration associations having supranational functions in the CIS. The next challenge is the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The common market of the Eurasian Economic Union is designed
to ensure four freedoms – the freedom of movement of goods,
services, capital and workforce. The action plan to fulfill this
goal was formalized in the fundamental document – the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty that will come into force in January 2015. Timur Suleimenov, Member of the Board (Minister) for Economy
and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), tells the Economy of Belarus Magazine about the changes that will be brought about by the Eurasian Economic Union, the benefits
of the Union for Belarus and the reasons why there is no other alternative to integration for the EEU member states.
No matter what you think of the United States and Americans, this country plays a crucial role in the global politics and economy, boasts cutting–edge technologies and huge financial resources. The latter is particularly important for Belarus, as the country cannot implement large–scale projects and maintain rapid economy growth relying solely on its limited budgetary resources. However, our country is ready to offer a stable environment, government guarantees for investors, mutually beneficial cooperation and attractive business terms, including an opportunity to penetrate the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union member states. Thus, the major goal of the first Belarus–USA investment forum that took place in New York on 22 September was to introduce American businesses to investment opportunities in Belarus.
Innovations are at the heart of Belarus’ economic policy. Indeed, in order to stay competitive on the market, one needs to offer relevant and high–quality products. It is particularly important for Belarus, as our country has an open and export–oriented economy and is going to become part of the common Eurasian market. Belarus’ innovative efforts are guided by a comprehensive five–year government program. More than that, each industry follows its own program of innovations. One of the most ambitious programs has been developed by the petrochemical industry that accounts for about 30% of the country’s industrial output.
Oil refining has always had a significant impact on Belarus’ economic development and acted as its growth locomotive. To remain competitive on the market, the Belarusian oil refineries continue their modernization programs. These upgrade efforts aim to increase the bottom of the barrel index to 90%, reduce the sulfur content of oil products, increase the output of light oil products, upgrade fuel oil processing technologies and offer new products. Naftan Oil Refinery is in the middle of all these processes. The refinery’s development program designed to run in 2011–2015 and up to 2020 provides for the comprehensive upgrade, which includes creating new production facilities and retrofitting the existing ones. Naftan Director General Vladimir TRETYAKOV talks to the Economy of Belarus Magazine about the current outlook, modernization and main development areas of the oil refinery.
The private company Conte Spa was established in Grodno about 20 years ago. Since then it has grown to become one of the most profitable light industry companies in Belarus and one of the biggest legwear producers in the post–Soviet space. Valentin Baiko, the company owner, chairman of the general meeting of shareholders, member of the Entrepreneurship Council under the auspices of Belarus’ President, tells the Economy of Belarus Magazine about the business environment in Belarus, the company growth and competition with big–name global brands.
Amidst tough market competition, modern–day manufacturers need to pay much attention both to the quality of products and their packaging. Today packaging is not just a container or a box but an important instrument in the fight for customers. Marketing specialists believe that a product sells much better if it is properly “clad”. This “clothing” helps catch the eye of the customer luring him to choose this particular product amidst dozens of others. Packaging is certainly a great help in promoting products. In recent years the domestic packaging industry has made considerable progress, however some issues remain unresolved. What hampers the further development of the industry? What should Belarusian packaging designers focus on in order to show a product to its best advantage and help producers compete successfully on the domestic and foreign markets?
Troika is the largest shopping and entertainment center in the region. Convenient location in Molodechno’s main street, a large parking lot, the children’s center Jungle and a great choice of products and services attract around 40,000 potential customers every week. In the near future Troika’s profit–generating space will be tripled up to 40,000m2. In view of the commissioning of the new premises the owner of the complex –
OOO TD Troika – seeks partners and investors.
Online shopping sneaked into our lives a long time ago by pushing away offline competition. Nearly half of Belarus’ adult population has made at least some online purchases. An average consumer spends about $300 on online shopping and makes slightly more than three purchases every six months. The most common types of products bought online include phones and computers, equipment, apparel and cosmetics, cinema tickets and flight tickets. Online shopping is so popular because it is fast, convenient and offers great deals. As a result, in January–June 2014 Belarusians made over 2.5 million online purchases. In 2014 the number of registered online shops doubled in comparison with 2013 to reach 10,500 in October. The prospects of online shopping and the issues facing online retailers today were discussed at a roundtable session held as part of the expo Bank.Insurance.Leasing, with the Belarusian national payment system BELKART co–organizing the event.
In 2016 Belarusians are expected to pay for every second purchase using non–cash instruments. Retailers and the country’s banking industry are busy working to reach the strategic goal of raising the share of cashless payments in retail up to 50%. More and more attractive banking products and services are offered; joint bonus and discount programs are getting popular. Still bank cards remain the most popular choice for cashless transactions despite the increasing popularity of other options. Products, projects, and trends in cashless payments are highlighted in the Economy of Belarus Magazine interview with Gennady SYSOYEV, Chairman of the Board of OAO Belinvestbank, a leader on the Belarusian bank card market.
The progress in biology in recent decades has resulted in a broader use of biological processes in production and opened up brand new opportunities for national economies. Today biotechnology has applications virtually in all economic sectors, including agriculture, healthcare, food production, light and chemical industries and pharmaceutics. There is no alternative to biotechnological products in terms of profitability of production and profits. Belarus has everything it needs to develop a powerful biological industry, including excellent facilities, highly–qualified workforce and world–class solutions. This industry is rapidly gaining ground in Belarus. In 2015 Belarusian specialists are expected to fully meet the domestic demand for strategically important products and to expand their export.
It is not a secret that we live in the era of nanotechnologies. Nanoscience incorporates physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and power engineering. The expertise and knowledge across the entire science spectrum is needed to develop nanomaterials and nanotechnologies. It is believed that the interest in the nanoworld culminated over a decade ago. Back then we were amazed to realize that we are surrounded by a great number of nano–objects. Over time we have learnt to use nanostructures in electronics, aerospace, medicine and healthcare, agriculture, defense and national security and consumer goods. In fact, fundamental research of the processes taking place in the structures smaller than 100 nanometers gave rise to a new field of study that is likely to make a breakthrough in the technologies of the 21st century.
No other branch of the food industry is associated with pleasure as much as the confectionery industry. For many people candies, chocolate, marmalade, and fancy cakes represent a source of positive emotions. Consumers in Belarus and abroad have come to recognize Belarusian sweets as organic and quality products. Nevertheless, consumers become more demanding as the choice of sweets gets bigger every year. In turn, manufacturers are forced to constantly update the assortment range and work out new recipes. The article reveals what Belarusian confectioners focus on in the face of growing competition and what problems they encounter.
In an environmentally pristine corner of Vitebsk Oblast there is an enterprise that all the kids and adults with a sweet tooth would just love to visit. The state–run enterprise Sladkaya Strana (sweet country) is Belarus’ only factory that makes biscuit confectionery.
A business meeting sometimes goes beyond sitting down at a table, conducting negotiations, taking minutes, signing agreements and contracts in a formal setting… It is also important to establish personal contacts with your partners for a long–term and reliable cooperation. In addition to official events experienced managers usually arrange informal talks. The question of how to find comfortable and convenient accommodation with genuine Belarusian zest arises nearly all the time.
Reforms in Belarus covered nearly all the main economic sectors, including construction, public utilities, manufacturing and agriculture. The situation on external markets has changed dramatically. All the regions of the country now have to adjust to the new economic environment. Grodno Oblast is no exception. The region has become the gateway to the Customs Union for Western Europe; therefore the interest in it is quite big. Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Kravtsov tells the Economy of Belarus Magazine about the development prospects of the region that marks its 70th anniversary this year.
Slonim District, Grodno Oblast, is always in the limelight, visible and recognizable. This is due to its location, and rich history. The district is known for a number of industries. It is located at the crossroads of important highways and railways. Therefore it is viewed as one of the most promising locations for doing business.
Chairman of the Slonim District Executive Committee Oleg Targonsky has been in office for less than a year. However, he was familiar with the district prior to his appointment. He believes that the district has great development prospects and he is working to materialize these prospects. In an interview with the Economy of Belarus Magazine Oleg Targonsky speaks about the economic prospects and investment appeal of the district.
The official status of the modernday Turov classifies it as an urban village located in Gomel Oblast. Its population is within the range of 3,000 residents and its economy is shaped by two processing enterprises one of which is best known as Belarus’ first enterprise to produce soft Italian cheeses. The name of the town is hardly noticeable on the map. However, in the book of Belarusian history the name Turov is engraved in distinct capital letters alongside such towns as Polotsk.
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