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Opinions & Interviews

6 Feb 2020

Belarus government interested in new ambitious projects with EBRD

Belarus government interested in new ambitious projects with EBRD
Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 6 February (BelTA) – The Belarus government is interested in new ambitious projects to implement together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the statement as he met with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti on 6 February, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Rumas noted: “On my part I would like to assure you once again that the government of the Republic of Belarus is always open to a dialogue and is interested in implementing new ambitious projects. Our results of cooperation in the public sector and the private one testify to that.”

Sergei Rumas stressed that the government highly appreciates the existing constructive relations with the EBRD and expects that the sides will be able to not only preserve but advance the relations in the future.

Suma Chakrabarti

The prime minister said: “We highly appreciate our trustful partnership. We hope that for the bank Belarus is a reliable partner, together with which many significant projects can be implemented,” Sergei Rumas said.

Speaking about the Belarus-EBRD dialogue about privatizing Belinvestbank, Sergei Rumas assured that the Belarusian side is interested in working out optimal conditions for the deal to the satisfaction of all the parties involved. Sergei Rumas suggested discussing the matter in detail during today’s meeting.

The Belarus government also counts on the successful implementation of the new initiative aimed at building energy infrastructure in free economic zones. “The pilot project is [the construction of] the substation Cherkasy in Fanipol for the free economic zone Minsk. We hope the implementation of the pilot project will help enable conditions for bringing new investments to FEZ Minsk. Unfortunately, the project is slightly behind the specified schedule. I would like to ask you to lend a hand, including with the organization of procedures inside the bank,” Sergei Rumas said.

The Belarusian head of government also asked Suma Chakrabarti to support the Belarusian initiative to arrange a national investment session in London in 2020 during an annual session of the EBRD Board of Governors. “We are convinced that the organization of this event will allow presenting opportunities for investing in Belarus in front of the business community. As you have been able to make sure out of your own experience, Belarus is a country, which is open to foreign investments and offers conditions for effective business,” the prime minister added.

In turn, Suma Chakrabarti noted that the level of cooperation Belarus and the EBRD have achieved in the last three years is unprecedented. He specified that over €1 billion was invested in the Belarusian economy in the period. As many as 24 projects in various industries were implemented in 2019 alone.

The EBRD is a multilateral bank fostering the development of the private sector and entrepreneurship initiatives in 38 economies on three continents. The bank’s shareholders are 69 countries as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Since the EBRD began working in Belarus in 1992, the bank has invested nearly €2.9 billion in 130 projects in various branches of the national economy. In 2019 the EBRD set a new record in its work in Belarus: the bank invested over €390 million in 24 projects in the private sector and the public one.

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