Local Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Project has been launched in Hrodna and Brest regions

Kick–off round tables under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “Local Entrepreneurship and Economic Development” Project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme were held in Hrodna and Brest regions on October 3–4, 2012. 

The activities of a 3–year project, which started its implementation this August, are aimed at increasing the role of the private sector of Brest and Hrodna regions. This aim will be achieved through supporting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises and other active players of ecotourism sector. The Ministry of Sports and Tourism of Belarus will be the national implementing agency for this project. The project budget totals US$ 1,946,000.

Round tables in Hrodna and Brest regions were attended by the high–ranking officials of the Embassy of the United States of America in Belarus, USAID, UNDP, and the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of Belarus. 

“The new project will give a major boost to private sector development and bring in the latest and innovative ecotourism experiences, both national and international,” – said Antonius Broek, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus. 

Ethan Goldrich, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the United States of America to the Republic of Belarus, stressed that the U.S. government, through USAID, is committed to sharing knowledge and skills with the people of Belarus to help them fully realize their enormous potential. “This, we hope, will foster sustainable development and prosperity,” he said at the round table opening ceremony. 

During the kick–off round tables in both regions the representatives of local authorities, business community, non–governmental organizations, and regional mass media were familiarized with the main objectives of the project and the ways of their achievement, as well as the opportunities of fostering sustainable social and economic development of territories through ecotourism development. 

According to Vadim Karmazin, Director of Tourism Department of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, at present the count of agro–and eco–farmsteads in the country is around 2 thousand. 

“The number of farmsteads continues to grow. However, sometimes we lack international experience to ensure that this rapid growth is to the highest quality standards,” – he added, emphasizing that the project implemented in Hrodna and Brest regions would help achieve this objective. 

Valeriya Klitsunova, Chairman of the Board of “Country Escape” NGO, made a presentation about the best practices of small business development in the sphere of agro–and ecotourism in Belarus and abroad. The participants of the round table were also informed about the preliminary approaches to selection of sixteen pilot territories (destinations) within the framework of the project in Hrodna and Brest regions. Presentation of Aliaksandr Tarasionak, Ecotourism Advisor, made during the kick–off round tables, is here (in Russian). 

Private farmstead “Karalinski Falvarak Tyzengauza”, which is located 15 kilometers away from the city of Hrodna, served as the event venue in the Hrodna region. This venue was a deliberate choice – the participants of the round table had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with one of the successful examples of small business development in the sphere of ecotourism in the region. 

Besides, the participants of the round table visited “Hrodna Farmstead “Korobchytsy” agritourism complex established by Hrodna Meat–Processing Factory. Such facilities create new jobs and offer better recreation opportunities for local residents. 

The kick–off round table in Brest region was held in the Regional Olympic Reserve Centre for Water Sports. This was possible due to support of the local authorities. That was a good contribution into strengthening public–private partnership in the region. 

For further information, please contact Siarhei Kuzniatsou, Public Relations and Events Coordinator, phone: +375 29 324–51–14, e–mail: siarhei.kuzniatsou@undp.by. 

UNDP in Belarus, 17 Kirov Str., Minsk 220050, Tel. +375 (17) 227 48 76, 227 81 49, Fax +375 (17) 226 03 40, e-mailfo.blr@undp.org 

United Nations Development Programme in Belarus 

Press release 

http://undp.by/print/en/undp/news/belarus/07-10-2012-n1.html 

05.11.2012

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