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12 Dec 2016

Belarus projected to raise $1.5bn in FDI in 2017

MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) – In 2017 Belarus can raise $1.5 billion in foreign direct investment, World Bank country economist Kirill Gaiduk said during the presentation of another World Bank Country Survey for Belarus on 12 December.

“As regards investment activity, we think that the dynamics in 2017 will not be as bad as in 2015-2016. With regard to foreign direct investment, our forecast for next year is approximately the same volume as this year, about $1.5 billion,” Kirill Gaiduk said.

Certain projects involving foreign direct investment, that will be meaningful for the country, might be implemented next year. “In the future as macroeconomic environment improves and appropriate political measures are adopted, this inflow of investment may certainly increase,” he stressed.

The World Bank experts also presented the thematic note “Strengthening the investment climate” which stresses the need to further improve the business environment to encourage the development of private enterprises. Belarus is one of the world’s top ten reformers, according to the World Bank business doing report 2017. Work on continuous improvement of the investment climate in the domestic market has had a positive impact on the growth of the private micro-and small enterprises. At the same time, as the note reads, Belarus still has difficulties attracting foreign direct investment.

According to World Bank senior economist Karlis Smits, the Belarusian government has already made steps towards a stable macroeconomic environment, which is necessary for investment. More steps will require legislative and institutional changes in order to make the country’s economy more attractive, taking into account the country’s favorable geographic position, big scientific potential and highly-qualified workforce.

Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totaled $1.7 billion. Apart from that, grant financing totaling $28 million has been provided to various programs, including those with civil society organizations. With the approval of this project, the active investment lending portfolio financed by the World Bank includes nine operations totaling $973 million.

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