The construction sector in Belarus is booming as the country embarks on a widespread programme to upgrade its transport and logistics infrastructure, meet rising demand for commercial and retail space, and build tens of thousands of new homes.
“The growing real estate demand in Belarus
means great opportunities are to be found
in rectifying the lack of supply”
Mihails Morozovs, Managing Partner, Colliers International Baltic states and Belarus
In the first nine months of 2008 alone, the value of investment in Belarus’ construction sector rose 25%, and there has been a steady influx of foreign firms to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
Commercial real estate is one of the fastest growing parts of the Belarusian economy – growing almost 18% in 2008 – and will be boosted in coming years by government plans to construct more modern retail sites.
The residential sector has also grown impressively with increased demand for high quality private housing at a time when neighbouring markets have slowed or stagnated. The government plans to develop 10 million square metres of housing a year from 2011, with foreign investors invited to tender for projects.
The sector has been greatly helped by recent reforms including the creation of a one-stop shop for property registration, which reduced the procedure to less than one month, placing Belarus 14th best in the world according to the World Bank. The country has also streamlined and sped up the process to obtain construction permits. The time taken is now below the OECD average and better than in the UK, Australia, Czech Republic and Russia.
Belarus’ construction industry sector also benefits from being self-sufficient in labour and materials. In 2009 the building materials industry made up 4.5% of total industrial production.