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14 Nov 2018

Belarus seeks to double investments by 2025

Belarus seeks to double investments by 2025

MINSK, 14 November (BelTA) – Belarus expects to increase investment almost twofold by 2025, Belarus Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi said during the parliamentary hearings held on 14 November to discuss the legal and practical aspects of improvement of Belarus’ investment climate, BelTA has learned.

“We are ambitious. We seek to make it into Top-30 in the Doing Business ranking, to create the EAEU best terms, to increase the total investment in the country to Br53 billion, almost twice the current level, by 2025. To do this, we need to work on several key areas: update the legislative framework, adjust a number of regulations governing conclusion of investment agreements, implement the roadmap to remove barriers and exceptions in the EAEU. We must simplify the procedures and reduce the time of obtaining all kinds of permissions. We should fully digitalize these processes as soon as possible in order to eliminate personal, subjective factors,” Dmitry Krutoi said.

The government is working on the proposal to prepare investment sites with ready-made transportation and engineering infrastructure. “The president supported the initiative of the government and allowed to attract credit resources in these areas. For example, we are working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,” the minister said.

We are planning to reformat the National Agency for Investment and Privatization. We want to make the agency a full-fledged one-stop shop for investors, said Dmitry Krutoi. Great attention is paid to the investment policy at the regional level.

In addition, the government has started to work with the World Economic Forum to include Belarus in the global competitiveness ranking, which is important for investors too.

In January-September 2018, investments in Belarus rose by 9.8%. “At the same time expenses to purchase machinery and equipment, including under major investment projects, such as to upgrade oil refineries, to build the BelNPP, Belaruskali, Slavkali, and other projects have increased considerably. These 100 largest projects account for about 40% of investment in the real economic sector,” the minister said.

In January-September 2018 Belarus attracted $1.4 billion in foreign direct investment, up 47% in comparison with the previous year. “If we take a look at the structure of foreign direct investment, we will see that foreign capital continues to prevail in fast-return sectors of the economy. First of all, these are trade and services. Our task is to shift gradually to the industrial sector,” said Dmitry Krutoi.

Before 2025 Belarus plans to attract about $6 billion for top-priority infrastructure projects, including through the use of the public-private partnership mechanism.

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