Belarus’ defence industry’s future largely depends on finding foreign investors. Evidently, priority will be given to investors affiliated with the authorities of friendly states.
President Lukashenka spent last week in the United Arab Emirates. When meeting the UAE leaders, the president, among other things, discussed military-technical collaboration and cooperation on dual-use technologies.
He held meetings with UAE Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Deputy Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and UAE National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Zayed al-Nahyan to discuss joint defence development, staff training and IT research.
Earlier, on October 7th–9th, 2019, Chairman of the State Committee for Military Industry Halauchanka visited the UAE to participate in the 10th meeting of the Joint Committee on Military-Technical Cooperation, where the results of bilateral military-technical cooperation and its prospects were considered. In September, Halauchanka said that Belarus, as regards military-technical cooperation with the UAE, had moved from being a supplier to joint development and research in the defence technologies field.
The Belarusian defence industry has a political task to double exports, which would only be possible through expanding the range of products. However, the state has no funds to invest in the development and production of new equipment. The domestic military industry has been working on bringing foreign investors for many years and regards China, UAE and Azerbaijan as the most promising ones. Meanwhile, so far, only cooperation with the latter has yielded concrete and significant results.
Past cooperation with private investors from the UAE had limited and not always positive outcomes. Belarus attempts to attract investment from businesses affiliated with the authorities of friendly states to have political guarantees of predictability and integrity when engaging with foreign counterparties.