Regional economic development in focus at Minsk project seminar

Regional economic development in focus

On 4 April, an introductory seminar was held in Minsk on the application of the UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) methodology in the EU4Business project on ‘Support for local economic development in the Republic of Belarus’, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.

One of the project’s objectives is to develop regional plans for the development of small and medium enterprises based on four basic methodologies of local economic development. At the workshop, participants learnt more about one of these methodologies, presented by Anatoly Balovnev, an UNIDO industrial development expert.  Anatoly Balovnev has extensive experience in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan related to the improvement of competitiveness and development of specific industries aimed at creation of new jobs and support to entrepreneurship.

Representatives of the Minsk, Mogilev and Brest regional executive committees, Molodechno, Lida, Zhlobin, Kobrin, Berezovsky district executive committees, as well as representatives of business unions, UNDP, the EU Delegation to Belarus and independent experts attended the seminar. The workshop participants found out more about the UNIDO Regional Innovative Development (RIS) methodology and successful examples of its application in other countries.

The ‘Support for local economic development in the Republic of Belarus’ project aims to support different forms of economic initiative, competitiveness and innovation at the local level, in order to promote inclusive development and expand employment opportunities. Within the framework of the project, the EU, UNDP, Ministry of Economy and partners in Belarusian regions will work together on local development actions to create jobs and provide direct access to finance for SMEs and social enterprises at local level.

The €8 million project is one of the largest initiatives of this kind implemented in Belarus and will substantially contribute to SMEs becoming the engine of the Belarusian economy in the years to come. Over the next three years the project will support business and social enterprises in all six regions of Belarus breathing significant new economic life into the regional economy.