Consulting firm Ecorys has been selected to lead an international consortium that will help Belarus with advancing the economic development of four regions. With the economic and technical expertise of the consultants, the local authorities will be able to create their own plans for regional development.
Last year the Ministry of Economy of Belarus together with the European Union (EU) launched the so-called 'Support to regional and local development in Belarus' project, an initiaitve aimed at fostering the economic development of four regions in the country: Mogilev Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Brest Oblast and Vitebsk Oblast. Funded by the EU, each region will receive €1.3 million to finance several small projects on the local level. The budget of the programme, which runs from September 2013 to August 2016, will be spent on among others consulting services and the purchase of equipment for the implementation of pilot projects.
As part of the project, local agenda's and sustainable development concepts for the regions will be developed, and proposals for infrastructure projects meant to contribute to the sustainable development of the regions are accepted. These projects may focus on the development of rural territories, the energy industry, or other aspects beneficial to the area. Scientists, public institutions, social institutions, foundations, business circles, initiative groups, and young people have been invited to get involved.
To ensure the programme is managed successfully, the EU and Belarus have decided to bring in the expertise of several external consulting firms. Led by Ecorys, they will keep an eye on progress and assist the regions with technical aid and European experience to allow them to build their own strategies and plans for regional development.