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Opinions & Interviews

26 Feb 2014

Vaitekhovsky: Belarus remains attractive for investors despite world economic crisis

Vaitekhovsky: Belarus remains attractive for investors despite world economic crisis

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – Despite the world economic meltdown, Belarus remains an attractive region for foreign investors, head of the main investment department of the Economy Ministry of Belarus Sergei Vaitekhovsky said at a roundtable held in the Council of the Republic on 26 February to discuss additional measures to regulate the investment activity in the Republic of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

According to Sergei Vaitekhovsky, the country’s investment legislation is developing in concert with investment relations. The main goal is to create maximally favorable doing business conditions. In 2001-2013 Belarus conducted an active investment policy thanks to which capital investment exceeded the GDP growth twofold. From 2008 to 2013 about $15-20 billion were invested in the economy on an annually basis. Over these 12 years investments increased 4.5 times while GDP only doubled. As a result capital investment in GDP went up from 17.8% in 2001 to 31.8% in 2013.

“The focus on foreign investment is justified. It can be stated that certain results have been achieved. I believe that despite the world crisis, Belarus remains an attractive region for foreign investors. Foreign investments in the country have considerably increased in the recent years. Last year they almost totaled $15 billion. FDI also show positive trends. FDI in the Belarusian economy has doubled since 2010 and soared almost 15 times since 2006,” the official said.

In his words, the number of businesses with foreign investment serves as a testimony to the improved investment climate in the country. In 2006-2012 their number went up 1.8 times. About 500 foreign-funded commercial organizations were set up in 2013 alone. Their contribution to the country’s economy increases every year. Such companies produce almost one fourth of the country’s revenue from sales and one fourth of its retail trade as well as one third of the exports.

One of the main instruments to generate investments, including foreign ones is an opportunity to conclude investment agreements with Belarus. An investor gets necessary preferences for lower production costs and prompt implementation of investment projects, while Belarus receives its advantages. According to Sergei Vaitekhovsky, as of 1 January 2014 the country signed an estimated 1,248 investment agreements to the total tune of nearly $35 billion. “The annual growth of investment agreements averages 400. With this, the highest investment activity falls on national investors. Foreign investors account for 27% of the total investment activity in the country,” he said.

In his words, “today due to the lack of domestic sources of financing, foreign investors are viewed as one of the main players in the investment sector. Foreign investment should be considered both as funds and contributions in the form of know-how, technologies, management, marketing, which allows reaching a higher level of the labor productivity with smaller costs and time spent on the implementation of projects.”

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