The forum is designed to showcase the achievements of cities and districts of Vitebsk Oblast, industrial and scientific potential and map out most promising avenues of mutual cooperation, Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev said at the opening ceremony. The governor noted that the region is committed to developing innovative manufacturers, creating high-performance jobs, upgrading enterprises. Individual enterprises of Orsha, Polotsk and Novopolotsk were included into the free economic zone Vitebsk in 2018. The program of the comprehensive development of Orsha District, with the state support for innovative projects, was approved last year. This year Orsha District launched the automobile logistics terminal, which is the first phase of the country's largest project to build a multi-modal logistic and industrial complex. Opportunities are created to deliver and handle goods by road, rail and air, to build new manufacturing facilities with the special legal regime of investor servicing. A total of 211 land plots located in the most picturesque and ecologically clean places of Vitebsk Oblast have been earmarked in six districts of Vitebsk Oblast for investment projects in tourism and recreation.
Interesting projects for cooperation presented at the forum include the proposal on joint work from the country's first pharmaceutical cluster, the offer to set up an industrial laboratory for the application of additive technologies in the light industry from Vitebsk State Technological University. FEZ Vitebsk also suggests projects in integrated wood processing.
The Vitebsk Oblast governor spoke about the current big investment projects in the region. A new plant, which is to be commissioned in Miory District in late 2019, will produce metal sheet and tinned iron. There are also plans to build an international cardiological center there. It will be the country's first public-private partnership project. Work has been launched to establish an agro-industrial holding company uniting agricultural manufacturers on the farm-to-table principle. Its concept and strategy is developed with the help of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
“All the mentioned initiatives and events of Vitebsk Oblast are aimed at the development of new economic management forms, the efficient use of local industrial, agrarian, tourism and resource potential, higher exports, and stronger cooperation between science and business,” Nikolai Sherstnev said. He expressed confidence that the forum will add a new impetus to mutually beneficial cooperation.
In 2018, the forum welcomed 42 delegations from 14 countries. This time, the two-day event will feature ceremonies to sign agreements on cooperation between the districts of Vitebsk Oblast and foreign regions, expositions, business matchmaking sessions, the WorldSkills competitions, and the conference on the role of the education system in innovative developments. Delegations are set to visit companies and facilities of the region. The forum will feature the first stand of foreign goods, services and projects. A separate stand will display Vitebsk Oblast food products that enjoy great popularity abroad.