In­vestor Friendly

Vitebsk Oblast sug­gests con­ven­tional and out-of-the-box so­lu­tions to raise in­vest­ments

Economy of Belarus - - INVESTMENTS - Diana KURILO, Econ­omy of Be­larus Mag­a­zine

Solid Foun­da­tion

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

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