More than 50 businesspeople and others interested in business opportunities in Belarus attended a business-to-business event co-hosted by the Danish Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, its Nordic sister chambers of commerce, and the European Humanities University (EHU) on January 31 at the Radisson Blu Astorija in Vilnius.
EHU MBA students and graduates, all of whom are practicing businesspeople, spoke from their experience about doing business in Belarus.
“It is much easier to be a pioneer in Belarus than elsewhere,” said one MBA graduate who recently started a business in Belarus.
Audrius Mikšys, a Lithuanian businessman who has been working in Belarus since 2006, gave the audience a frank assessment of the opportunities as well as the challenges.
“Belarus not only has a market of ten million people, but it also provides a gateway to Russia, which belongs to a common customs zone, and Ukraine," said Mikšys.
However, he cited a lack of capable workers as a major challenge.
"What Belarus currently needs is people who know economics, have seen the world, speak English, and have a western working culture,” he said. Mikšys is currently director of Lidskoje Pivo (Lida Beer), which is owned by Finland's Olvi Group.
Formal presentations included an overview by Pavel Malukowitch, director of EHU's Center for Business Education, and a summary of relevant legal requirements by Olga Polozova, associate at Raidla Lejins and Norcous. These were followed by informal networking among participants.