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2 Mar 2018

Lukashenko orders to eliminate red tape in investment

MINSK, 2 March (BelTA) – Red tape should be eliminated in the work with investors, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting held on 2 March to hear out the reports of the government, the National Bank, the oblast executive committees and Minsk City Hall on the economic performance in 2017 and goals to secure the country’s sustainable economic growth, BelTA informs.

According to the president, a decreasing inflow of foreign investment has been a disturbing trend since 2013. He instructed to deal with the problem which he believes is mainly caused by the government’s foot dragging. “You have been finalizing investment decree No.10 for more than a year already and I have not received any proposals yet. Kazakhstan, for instance, surpasses us five times in terms of capital investment,” he said.

The head of state stressed that the investing process should be uninterrupted in order to maintain competitive edge. “The country offers all kinds of preferences. Perhaps, the reason is not in preferences, but in the way you work with investors,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president is confident that an individual approach is needed to every potential investor today. “The level of dialogue and the pace of response to emerging issues should meet the expectations of a businessman. There should be no red tape,” the president said.

The head of state drew attention to the fact that in 2017 the amount of foreign direct investment on a net basis decreased by $60 million, or almost 5% and amounted to $1.2 billion. Of these, 44% is reinvestment. It also decreased by $110 million, or 17%. “This suggests that investors take out the revenues, see no prospects here or simply do not trust us,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“Are the tax authorities, fire and sanitary services and others aware that investment is one of the major priorities of the five-year period?” the president asked. “The result of such disunity is the debts that we have accumulated over the last three five-year periods. Do you think it is wiser to borrow money for the development of the economy?” the president asked.

“We have working groups, plans. We hold meetings, take decision. But still there are no investors. I think it is time for you to use your skills as they are in demand at the moment,” the head of state said addressing First Vice Premier Vasily Matyushevsky. “The negative trend shows that there are systemic shortcomings in this area,” Alexander Lukashenko concluded.

 

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