The International Round Table on the topic ‘Business Environment of the Border Regions of Russia and Belarus: from Problems to Solutions’ was held on November 29 at Smolensk State University. The Belarusian-Russian University was represented at the forum by the associate professor of the Economics and Management Department, PhD in Economics, Associate Professor Larisa Vladimirovna Narkevich.
The Round Table was attended by scientists, entrepreneurs, academic staff of universities and government officials from Russia and Belarus. Experts noted that the conditions created for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and for the implementation of large investment projects within the territory of the Belarusian-Russian border are favorable but still insufficient. It was pointed out that the level of economic connectivity of the regions of the Belarusian-Russian border cannot be evaluated explicitly. Besides, some discrepancies in statistical measurements were found. In addition, the results of a sociological survey were announced, according to which the overwhelming majority of consumers in Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev regions consider Belarusian goods to be of higher quality than Russian ones. The experts concluded that actions of the authorities of the border regions of Belarus and Russia to support entrepreneurs and develop the business environment should be coordinated in all directions: the development of trade and economic relations between Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev regions should be aimed at reducing administrative barriers for economic entities, reducing the time required for obtaining permits, as well as eliminating the facts of informal protectionism. Moreover, possible options for creating a unified concept for the development of the educational complex of Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev regions were discussed.