Belarusian-Pakistani Business Forum

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Pakistan can become a gateway to South Asia for Belarus, and Belarus can be a gateway to Europe for Pakistan, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when speaking at the Belarus-Pakistan Business Forum in Minsk on 11 August.

When opening the forum, the head of state noted that the current year was a landmark year for the Belarusian-Pakistani relations. “We have created a solid foundation for ties between the countries in various spheres: politics, economy, science, education, culture. Belarus views Pakistan as its reliable partner in the Asian region,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He added that Belarus and Pakistan have all the necessary political preconditions for increasing the level of trade, and boosting the economic and investment cooperation.

"In this difficult time Belarus and Pakistan have been taking systematic effort to strengthen peace and stability in Eurasia, turning the region into a zone of sustainable development and prosperity," the President stressed.

Pakistan has made tremendous efforts in the fight against terrorism, for the sake of stability in that sensitive region where the country is located. "These are hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe even billions. But most importantly, Pakistan bears considerable losses, loses its best military, specialists. This is an invaluable colossal contribution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This pertains to everyone, and we must be grateful to the leadership of Pakistan for these efforts,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Speaking about the trade and economic cooperation, including the prospects for bolstering trade, the Belarusian President said that all the prerequisites are in place for raising the Belarusian-Pakistani trade to $1 billion. “Up till now the trade turnover has been very small - $50-65 million per annum. Positive growth dynamics has emerged. I am absolutely convinced that today’s forum will contribute not only to a considerable increase in our trade turnover this year but also to its increase in the next few years,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The Belarus-Pakistan economic relations demonstrate a tendency of making the transition from pure trade to manufacturing cooperation. Belarus welcomes the signing of two agreements in Islamabad in May 2015 to enable the conditions for the full-fledged development of bilateral relations in the area of industrial cooperation and agriculture, said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“Our countries can step up interaction in the production sector, power engineering, logistics, communications, and biotechnologies. The Belarusian side is also interested in the development of modern enterprises in the area of pharmaceutics, information and communication technologies,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus would create good doing business conditions for Pakistan in the center of Europe, “If you want to work in the Eurasian Economic Union, in the European Union, you can count on Belarus. We will create necessary working conditions for your businessmen,” the Belarusian leader said and added that this is how the People’s Republic of China works from the territory of Belarus.

The President invited representatives of the Pakistani business circles to have a closer look at Belarus’ potential, in particular, the potential of the Industrial Park Great Stone which will unite pharmaceutical, IT and communications companies. “Opening enterprises in Belarus you will have unlimited access to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union and will be able to promote your goods and joint products on the market of the European Union,” the head of state noted.

Belarus also invites representatives of business circles to cooperate with regions. “When developing trade, economic and investment relations between Belarus and Pakistan it is always needed to bear in mind that the regional and global context of these ties opens up great prospects,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.

The head of state assured Pakistani counterparts and forum participants that Pakistani businessmen would not have problems with contractors in Belarus. “We will help you when you need and will guarantee your interests in Belarus. You can be confident no one will cheat on you here. If you would like to work honestly and we agree on that, we will fulfill our agreements in full,” the President stressed.

Belarusian and Pakistani businessmen and investors are facing big and serious tasks. “Today we have a unique chance to advance the bilateral cooperation in politics, trade, economy, investment, science, technology, education, culture, IT and other areas and strengthen its legal framework,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The Belarusian leader recalled that some 15 Belarus-Pakistan agreements to expand and deepen the bilateral cooperation have been signed recently at the highest level. “The main thing is to establish ties and find reliable partners for us in Pakistan and for Pakistani companies in Belarus,” the President stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that in terms of trade and economy, Pakistan is a relatively new country, a new region for Belarus. The President said that he expects Pakistani MPs to contribute to the establishment of contacts in Pakistan. The joint Belarus-Pakistan commission for trade and economic cooperation will be the main coordinator of the bilateral relations and the main decision-making center.

When addressing the participants of the forum, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that both Belarus and Pakistan have created all the necessary preconditions for the successful business cooperation. He called on the businessmen to use these opportunities. “Reach out for one another, negotiate, and tell us if you need any help. We are always ready to give a hand,” the Belarusian leader noted. He expressed confidence that the Belarus-Pakistan Business Forum will bring benefits to both sides and will generate new interesting and mutually beneficial projects. “Pakistan can become a gateway to South Asia for Belarus, and Belarus can be a gateway to Europe for Pakistan,” the head of state said.