By Minahil Makhdoom
Islamabad: Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies hosted Webinar on “Pakistan-Belarus Relations: Opportunities for Collaborations”. Mr. Andrei Metelista, Ambassador of Belarus to Pakistan, Mr. Sajjad Haider Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Belarus, and Prof.Dr. Mecheslau Chasnouski, Head of International Relations Department, Belarusian State University, were amongst the speakers. Ms. Farhat Asif, Founder President, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, moderated the session. The webinar highlighted the importance of cooperation between Pakistan and Belarus, especially in the fields of Business, Education, and Tourism. Ambassadors from both sides shared important opportunities and insights for business executives, academicians, students, faculty members, tourists, and tour operators on how to invest, study, and visits in both countries. IPDS through BET Series i.e. Business, Education, and Tourism Series Webinar offering the opportunity to spread information through close collaboration with Pakistani Missions abroad and foreign missions based in Pakistan for stronger linkages.
Ambassador Andrei Metelista shared a comprehensive insight on Pakistan Belarus Relations, especially in the sectors of business investment, partnerships, and joint ventures. He said that high-level visits from both sides regularly, creating continuous engagement between both countries. The economy of Pakistan and Belarus are complimenting each other, and despite the pandemic, trade has remained positive. Belarus’s strong industrial machinery manufacturing base has the potential to support Pakistan’s growing industrial and construction industries. He said that Basmati rice exports from Pakistan to the Belarus market have increased by 27 percent. There is a huge potential for Pakistani enterprises to explore the Belarusian market. There are also agreements signed between higher education sectors and counterparts can reach out to each other for continuous partnerships, and Embassies will always support initiatives of mutual interest. Mr. Sajjad Haider Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Belarus explained in his comprehensive country presentation about investment opportunities for Belarusian entrepreneurs, investors, education institutions, and opportunities for tourism in Pakistan. Pakistan’s geographical and economic outlook is providing diverse sector options for Belarus partners.
He has said that because of CPEC and Pakistan’s significant presence in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Pakistan is offering an excellent geographical link to important regional markets. Tourism in Pakistan is also rising with ease of visa regimes which is online, anyone from Belarus can visit and see the marvels of nature in the length and breadth of Pakistan. Prof. Dr. Mr. Mecheslau Chasnouski, Head of International Relations Department, Belarusian State University, joined from Minsk and highlighted the historical significant relations between Pakistan and Belarus. He said that although history is magnificent; the future is also bright for both countries. In their concluding remarks, both the Ambassadors said that still there is a need to do a lot more collaboration between two States in every field and both the governments will resolve all the challenges. In the question-and-answer session, Ambassadors responded to the queries about the visa regime, finding the right partners, opportunities in both countries, and other important challenges apart from inviting the participants to explore potentials on both sides.
A large number of Businessmen/women, academicians, and members of civil society joined from Belarus, Pakistan, and across the world.