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26 Jul 2016

Belarus counts on WB’s assistance in attracting investors

MINSK, 26 July (BelTA) – Belarus counts on the assistance of the World Bank in attracting investors to Belarus, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said as he met with World Bank Country Manager for Belarus Young Chul Kim, BelTA has learned.

“Now you are developing another strategy for cooperation with Belarus. Hopefully it will be even more ambitious and fruitful. Not only are we looking forward to loans. Attracting investors is of crucial importance for us. We will be extremely grateful if you helped us find potential investors who would bring new technologies and opportunities. In my opinion, this should make part of the new strategy for Belarus,” Vladimir Semashko noted.

He stressed that Belarus has created favorable conditions for investors. The country runs six free economic zones, is building the Chinese -Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone with different privileges and preferences.

“We have always viewed the World Bank as a highly respected institution, which has enormous resources, competencies. For more than 20 years, the Bank has invested over $1.5 billion in the Belarusian economy. You have made sure that we are reliable partners: we service all loans on time, implement projects,” Vladimir Semashko said.

First of all, Belarus cooperates with the World Bank in renewable energy. “This is important for us as we export about 85% of energy from our friend Russia. This puts us in a position of certain dependency. Therefore for about fifteen years we have been working to make maximum use of what the nature has given us - wood, peat, wind, sun and to cover at least 15% of our energy needs through local sources,” Vladimir Semashko said. “In addition, we are now actively working on the project Clean Water. Recycling is also important for Belarus. The first projects have already been implemented with your participation,” the Vice Prime Minister said.

For his part, World Bank Country Manager for Belarus Young Chul Kim said: “The strategy which was launched in 2013 is nearing completion this year. When we started on it, the amount of active projects was $377 million. Today we have the projects worth $998 million. Every year our portfolio expanded by 2 or 3 projects and the annual funding rose by approximately $200 million.”

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