Title: A strategic plan for the East Belarus mechanical engineering cluster

Authors: Anthony J. Evans; Terence Tse

Addresses: ESCP Europe Business School, 527 Finchley Road, NW3 7BG, London, UK ' ESCP Europe Business School, 527 Finchley Road, NW3 7BG, London, UK

Abstract: In recent years the economy of Belarus has contracted due to a sharp reduction in exports to Russia and falling domestic demand. Significant foreign currency debt repayments are due and there is a pressing need to secure inward investment and generate growth. Despite being a predominantly planned economy, Belarus has demonstrated a policy commitment to improving its competitiveness. Furthermore, the removal of EU sanctions in 2015 has created an opportunity to extend these reforms with a coherent cluster plan. In particular, this paper identifies the East Belarus mechanical engineering industry as being an ideal focal point and the following recommendations are made: 1) move into higher value production by bridging with automation in manufacturing and self-driving vehicles; 2) create a university partnership for management training and R&D; 3) use public private partnerships (PPP) to improve infrastructure, building on the work with the EBRD to invest in the M10 motorway; 4) adopt tax breaks to incentivise innovation and competitive excellence; 5) extend the high technology park to the East Belarus industrial core.

Keywords: Belarus; cluster; competitiveness; mechanical engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJC.2018.091493

International Journal of Competitiveness, 2018 Vol.1 No.3, pp.221 - 237

Available online: 25 Apr 2018

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