Vitebsk Oblast suggests conventional and out-of-the-box solutions to raise investments
Vitebsk Oblast has a great investment appeal due to its proximity to the markets of the EU and the Russian Federation, a welldeveloped manufacturing industry, abundant raw materials for producing meat, dairy and vegetable products, vast timber resources, peat, dolomite, flax, rapeseed, and construction materials; an extensive network of major transport communications, including pipelines, railways, roads and air transport; qualified workforce; a strong scientific potential and advanced technologies. Another advantage is strong links with regions of Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia.
Every year local companies raise about Br100 billion in foreign direct investments for construction, renovation and upgrade of production facilities. External loans are used for comprehensive modernization and technical upgrade of meat and dairy companies, canneries and agricultural enterprises, says First Deputy Chairperson of the Economy Committee of the Vitebsk
The quality and scope of investments are among the major factors determining the sci-tech potential and economic efficiency of any country. In recent years, Belarus has adopted a number of legal acts to encourage investments. The economic performance of the regions greatly depends on how they use investments. Vitebsk Oblast makes the most of the national legislation to raise investments.
Oblast Executive Committee Natalia Saltanovich.
The investments came from 26 countries, including Russia, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Czechia, the Netherlands, the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Italy, Greece, France, and Canada.
Presidential Decree No. 10 of 6 August 2009 “On additional stimuli for raising investments in the Republic of Belarus” aims to facilitate investment projects in Belarus run by both domestic and foreign investors. The decree envisages three levels of agreements with the government depending on the importance of a project and preferences to an investor. Over the two years since the decree was passed, Vitebsk Oblast has concluded 65 investment agreements worth about Br1.5 trillion; 41 agreements estimated at Br1 trillion were signed in 2011.
Some 26 agreements were concluded with foreign investors to the tune of $120 million. The projects will be materialized in 2011-2015.
The investments helped commission five facilities in the Vitebsk, Beshenkovichi, Dokshitsy districts and the city of Vitebsk. At present, Vitebsk Oblast is running a series of major projects involving foreign investors. For example, PDW group s.r.o. (Czechia) is set to develop the Vitebsk airport infrastructure. The company plans to build a business aviation shed that will also provide maintenance services. The total investment will make up 50 million. The Swedish company Vireo Energy is implementing gas generation projects at solid wastes landfills in the Polotsk, Orsha and Vitebsk Districts (the total funding is 4.5 million). The Czech BRIZANT Energy Center is constructing a plant to produce pellets in Liozno District (up to 100,000 tonnes per year). The investment project is estimated at Br6.6 billion.
In January-october this year Vitebsk Oblast utilized Br5.8 trillion worth of capital investment, Br2.6 trillion of them was used by public utility companies. The completed projects include a library of the Vitebsk Medical University, the third phase of a new school for 1,240 students in Polotsk, and a renovated building of the Bogushevsky orphanage. A PET bottling line has been installed at Polotsk Dairy. Another local company Moloko (Milk) has started the production of chocolate-glazed curd bars (the capacity is 8,000 items an hour). The company is installing the second curd cheese production line at its subsidiary in Novolukoml with the total capacity of 2 tonnes per hour. Tabak-invest has opened