May 26, 2021
Round table meeting “Craftsman: entrepreneur or freelancer”

May 26, 2021, in the framework of International exhibition “Spring in Gomel” a round table “Craftsman: entrepreneur or freelancer. Experience of interaction with chambers of commerce and industry” (program).

Representatives of government authorities, business, non-profit organizations of the Gomel region, as well as representatives of chambers of commerce and industry from six countries (Republic of Belarus, Russian Federation, Spain, Poland, Kazakhstan, Moldova), whose activities are related to the preservation and popularization of cultural heritage, folk arts and crafts and stimulating development modern souvenir products, took part in the round table meeting.

Marina Filonova, General Director of Gomel branch of the BelCCI, presented her experience of productive work with artisans. Since 2014, the branch has been cooperating with the masters of handmade to create original souvenirs for foreign partners, reflecting the regional flavor. Gomel branch of the BelCCI has twice organized creative contests for artisans – “Gomel souvenir” and “Bird on a twig”, stimulating the creation of authentic works in a manner characteristic to the Gomel region. Round tables and educational seminars were held for all guests, during which art historians and museum workers acted as experts and consulted on samples of creativity, analyzed the state of the souvenir market in the region and its demand. The branch, together with artisans, participated in the development of original souvenirs for important international events and acted as the customer for their production (presentation).

The following speakers addressed the participants:

Director of the private institution “Territory of Development – 21st Century” Irina Bogdanets – promotion of handicrafts at the regional level through project activities (presentation);

Deputy Chairperson of the Kormyansky District Executive Committee Natalya Sidorova shared her experience of successful creation and development of event tourism in the region, and also invited all participants of the round table to take part in the Festival “Linen Carousel” (presentation);

Vice-President of the Association of Craftsmen of Spain, president of the Regional Crafts Center of Castile and León Felix Sanz Sastre – about 19 years of experience of the Crafts Center, its formation and development (presentation);

BelCCI representative in Spain Olesya Slizheva – experience of interaction between the CCIs of Madrid, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Ektremadura with artisans;

President of Bryansk Chamber of Commerce and Industry Antonina Katyanina – special tax regime “tax on professional income” as a tool for ensuring the employment of folk and art craftsmen and artisans in the Russian Federation.

During the discussion, the participants exchanged views and discussed promising partnership models for the development of folk arts and crafts, ensuring self-employment of souvenir producers, expanding interaction with chambers of commerce and industry, as well as the possibility of creating information and communication platforms for the experience exchange among artisans and organizations producing and selling tourist souvenirs.

Roundtable participants agreed that an independent discussion platform is an important component in stimulating the development of handicrafts.

As a result of the meeting, recommendations were adopted to promote the development of the handicraft sector, and passed on to interested participants of the round table.