MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) – Belarus is creating conditions for providing risk insurance guarantees to foreign investors, Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov said in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly on 12 April.
The House of Representatives have ratified two agreements. The first is between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) on legal protection of guaranteed foreign investment was signed on 29 July 2011. The second one between the Belarusian government and the MIGA was concluded last year and pertains to the use of local currency.
The ratification of the agreements will help create the relevant international standards for insuring foreign investors against risk in Belarus, Nikolai Snopkov said. It will allow the country to fulfill its international obligations and attract foreign financial resources without guarantees of the Belarusian government.
The ratification of the agreements will also let expand the agency’s guarantee commitments onto Belarus, confirm the country’s readiness to observe the norms and standards of the international economic cooperation, the minister stressed. This procedure “removes barriers on the way of large strategic investors who are unwilling to come to any country without the MIGA guarantees,” he added.
The Republic of Belarus became a member of MIGA in 1992. The Agency comprises 175 countries, including 150 developing states including Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan. MIGA is one of the autonomous international institutions of the World Bank Group. It offers political risk insurance, provides guarantees against non-commercial risks to encourage foreign direct investment in developing countries.
In 2005, Priorbank and Raiffeisenbank (Austria) signed a loan agreement for $30 million. The Agency acted as insurer.
Implementation of the provisions of the agreement between the Government of Belarus and the Agency on legal protection of guaranteed foreign investment will enable the Republic of Belarus to fulfill its obligations as a member of MIGA.
According to Nikolai Snopkov, so far Belarus has had no deals with investors with the participation of MAGI. But there is interest on the part of investors in Belarus because MIGA affirms favorable conditions for investment in the country. “MIGA confirms that the appetite is there. But they are waiting for the green light of our consent, and this is obvious. I therefore hope that, following the adoption of this agreement and the law, we will be able to report on the successes and benefits that our country can get, taking into account the work of MIGA with investors wishing to expand into our country,” Nikolai Snopkov said.