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Opinions & Interviews

15 Sep 2017

Kobyakov: Belarus interested in constructive dialogue with international business community

Kobyakov: Belarus interested in constructive dialogue with international business community

MINSK, 15 September (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in a constructive dialogue with the international business community, Belarus; Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said at a meeting with representatives of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ICIE) on 15 September, BelTA has learned.

Andrei Kobyakov expressed gratitude for choosing Belarus as a venue for the 11th Assembly of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs which opened in Minsk on 15 September. “We are happy to welcome representatives of business circles, national unions, international organizations and the diplomatic corps from more than 20 countries. Belarus is interested in an open and constructive dialogue with the international business community, especially in the matters related to mutually beneficial cooperation, business development, and the advancement of the industrial and investment potential,” the PM said.

In his words, despite all the difficulties, domestic and external problems, Belarus maintains macroeconomic balance and sustainability on the financial and currency markets. The situation on the credit and deposit market has considerably improved. Interest rates on loans for the real economy sector have been significantly reduced. Thanks to the currency and price stability, the interest rate on loans for the real economy has been reduced by 8.2% in 2017. The foreign trade balance is maintained. In January-July 2017 Belarus posted a surplus in trade in goods and services to the total tune of $490 million. The decreased influence of monetary factors helped the country reach a record-low inflation rate over the last decade. The overall economic performance has been steadily improving. The problems that still exist are dealt with step by step, the Belarusian head of government said.

Andrei Kobyakov As any other country, Belarus is interested in developing cooperation with international corporations. “Amid huge competition, a tough fight for investments and technology Belarus has been working hard to improve its investment climate and conditions for setting up different manufacturing enterprises. We have a well-developed investment legislation envisaging a wide range of preferences,” the PM said. This creates economic incentives for attracting investors, especially to small and medium-sized cities and rural areas, free economic zones, the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone, and the Hi-Tech Park (HTP).

The industrial park Great Stone is focused on the development of hi-tech industry and logistics, and creating knowledge-intensive industries. The Hi-Tech Park is one of the largest IT-clusters in Central and Eastern Europe. The HTP is the synthesis of high-quality technical education, professionalism of IT specialists and state support for the IT industry. The HTP offers a specific legal regime and taxation. Resident companies are exempt from all corporate taxes, including VAT and income tax.

Belarus operates six free economic zones, special customs registration and tax regimes. “All regimes and territories that we offer to investors have solid tax, customs and other preferences and state-guaranteed investment protection,” the prime minister said.

Andrei Kobyakov also recalled that the government is working to create the favorable conditions for business. In close cooperation with the business community the government has prepared an unprecedented package of documents to improve the business environment, to remove unnecessary business requirements, and to involve the population in active economic activity, he added.

“Belarus is open to new joint projects and partnerships to address critical strategic challenges in economic development. I believe that the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs will surely give an impetus to the development of economic relations between our countries, companies and to the effort to minimize administrative barriers to economic cooperation,” the head of government said.

The International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ICIE) is an international non-governmental public organization, established in 1992. Currently, it units national business associations, entrepreneurs’ associations and employers' organizations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Estonia.

The 11th Assembly of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ICIE) opened in Minsk on 15 September. Delegates and guests of the forum will discuss topical issues of international economic cooperation, the role of business communities in the development of modern market relations. The participants of the ICIE assembly intend to get familiar with the work of a number of Belarusian enterprises and public organizations, to consider possible joint programs and projects.

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