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26 Dec 2016

Lukashenko: Terms of foreign loans have to comply with state interests

MINSK, 26 December (BelTA) – Terms of foreign loans have to comply with state interests. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the government conference held on 26 December to discuss ways of attracting external funding, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that the banking industry represents one of the most important channels for acquiring loans. In the last few years Belarus established businesslike partnerships with a number of foreign banks that operate in the country.

“We just have to put some effort into it. There is plenty of money in the world. Naturally, nobody will just throw it away. But our country has a good credit history. We have never had overdue debts and have no intention of running into overdue credit payments or debts. This is why it is necessary to take advantage of the factor and get to work. It is necessary to work with Western banks and with Belarusian branches of Russian banks. But while we set out to borrow money, we have to bear in mind that economic security and the level of the gold and foreign exchange reserves must be prioritized above everything else,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko. “Decisions on the advisability of raising foreign investments must be made bearing these guidelines in mind. We don’t want to rush to borrow as much as possible because we don’t want to run into irredeemable debts. The terms of raising funds have to meet purely state interests. Translucent prospects and goals are needed.”

According to the President, first of all, the real sector of the economy needs these resources. “Where we can get money and how is not the idea. We are going to talk about specific loans we are offered. Belarus is not the only country that borrows money abroad. It is a routine practice. Our partners offer us money now. Those are primarily Russian banks. We need to discuss borrowing rules, the cost of these loans, whether we should take the money or not, and how the money will be spent,” said the head of state. “If concrete projects are available, if their real payback has been calculated, we need to go ahead and decide on taking foreign loans against the government’s guarantees.”

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