Im­por­tant Fac­tor of Eco­nomic Growth

In 2015 Be­larus ex­pects to get $7-7.5 bil­lion of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments on a net ba­sis

Economy of Belarus - - CONTENTS - Niko­lai SNOPKOV

In 2015 Be­larus ex­pects to get $7-7.5 bil­lion of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments on a net ba­sis

In­ter­na­tional Recog­ni­tion

Be­larus is lo­cated in the cen­ter of Europe. It has a great de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial and a num­ber of com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages based on the ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion, type and struc­ture of pro­duc­tion, qual­i­fi­ca­tions and cost of hu­man re­sources, avail­abil­ity of de­vel­oped sci­en­tific and in­no­va­tive cen­ters.

Spe­cial polls are held to pro­vide a de­tailed and ob­jec­tive eval­u­a­tion of the terms and ad­van­tages of in­vest­ing in Be­larus. In 2011 a poll like this was held at com­mer­cial com­pa­nies with for­eign in­vest­ments. The re­spon­dents were asked to eval­u­ate the in­vest­ment cli­mate in Be­larus and name fa­vor­able fac­tors.

The fol­low­ing fac­tors were men­tioned: busi­ness reg­is­tra­tion pro­ce­dures, prop­erty rights guar­an­tees, fi­nan­cial sup­port and ben­e­fits, real es­tate lease and pur­chase terms, busi­ness clo­sure terms, pri­va­ti­za­tion terms for for­eign in­vestors, de­vel­oped net­work of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, as well as trans­port and lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture.

Be­sides, the list of fa­vor­able fac­tors in­cluded the price reg­u­la­tion sys­tem. Dur­ing the 2009 poll, al­most 55% of re­spon­dents said that it was an un­fa­vor­able fac­tor, while in 2011 only 37.4% of them thought the same.

We also take into con­sid­er­a­tion the eval­u­a­tion of Be­larus by for-

The Repub­lic of Be­larus is work­ing to im­prove the in­vest­ment cli­mate and raise for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the guide­lines for­mal­ized in the Strat­egy of Rais­ing For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ments in the Repub­lic of Be­larus by 2015. The strat­egy was passed by a res­o­lu­tion of the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters and the Na­tional Bank on 18 Jan­uary 2012.

eign coun­tries. I should say that our busi­ness and in­vest­ment terms are praised by in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Be­larus was ranked 69th out of 183 coun­tries in the Do­ing Busi­ness 2012 re­port by the World Bank. The Do­ing Busi­ness 2010 re­port placed Be­larus on the 91st po­si­tion. For com­par­i­son, the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion was ranked 120th, Ukraine 152nd.

Be­larus was rec­og­nized one of the lead­ing re­form­ers over the last six years and was named the third most ac­tive re­former tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the ag­gre­gate ef­fect of busi­ness lib­er­al­iza­tion.

In the lat­est re­port Be­larus moved up from the 183rd to the 156th po­si­tion in Pay­ing Taxes, from the 98th to the 82nd po­si­tion in Re­solv­ing In­sol­vency, from the 6th to the 4th po­si­tion in Reg­is­ter­ing Prop­erty. Our coun­try was also ranked 79th in the cat­e­gory Pro­tect­ing In­vestors.

Some fig­ures are dis­cour­ag­ing. Be­larus’ rank has fallen in the cat­e­gory Get­ting Electricity to the 175th po­si­tion, which is the worst fig­ure demon­strated by the coun­try.

The mea­sures to cre­ate a fa­vor­able in­vest­ment cli­mate as well as the pol­icy of eco­nomic re­forms pur­sued by the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Be­larus were ac­knowl­edged by the World Bank’s an­nual re­port In­vest­ing Across Borders 2010. This rank­ing as­sesses pros­per­ity fac­tors and their im­pact on the eco­nomic growth and long-term well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion. Be­larus was placed 54th leav­ing be­hind Rus­sia (63rd po­si­tion) and Ukraine (69th po­si­tion).

These es­ti­mates con­firm our de­ter­mi­na­tion to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to rais­ing in­vest­ments. At present, we are con­sis­tently op­ti­miz­ing the le­gal frame­work to run in­vest­ment projects.

In late 2001 the In­vest­ment Code defin­ing the con­cept of a com­pany with for­eign in­vest­ments came into force. Since then the num­ber of such com­pa­nies has been on the rise. In 2010 their num­ber made about 5,000, up al­most 2.5 times com­pared with 2002.

Re­forms were in­tro­duced in a num­ber of in­dus­tries. The key re­forms were as fol­lows:

• The tax­a­tion sys­tem was stream­lined;

• Num­ber of li­cens­able ac­tiv­i­ties was re­duced;

• List of goods re­quir­ing manda­tory cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the Repub­lic of Be­larus was re­vised down­ward;

• Time and money spent on start­ing and run­ning a busi­ness were de­creased;

• Price for­ma­tion was lib­er­al­ized;

• The con­tro­ver­sial “golden share” rule was abol­ished;

• Watch­dog ac­tiv­i­ties were op­ti­mized in line with Pres­i­den­tial De­cree No. 510 of 16 Oc­to­ber 2009. The de­cree re­stricted the num­ber of watch­dogs and in­tro­duced a ran­dom con­trol method de­pend­ing on the or­der­li­ness of a com­pany;

• Ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures were stream­lined;

• Decision-mak­ing pro­ce­dures re­lated to al­lo­ca­tion of land plots were made eas­ier and faster;

• The in­sti­tute of in­vest­ment agree­ments with the Repub­lic of Be­larus was in­tro­duced, pro­vid­ing in­vestors with ad­di­tional guar­an­tees, ben­e­fits and pref­er­ences.

To­day in­vestors are of­fered a num­ber of pref­er­ences in free eco­nomic zones, small and medi­um­sized towns, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and the High-tech Park.

Be­sides, Pres­i­den­tial De­cree No. 413 of 6 Au­gust 2009 in­tro­duced the in­sti­tu­tion of in­vest­ment agents.

In­vest­ment agents are in­di­vid­u­als or le­gal en­ti­ties that help

find po­ten­tial in­vestors and man­age in­vest­ment projects. They can pro­vide con­sult­ing, le­gal, and mar­ket­ing ser­vices and help in­vestors go through the re­lated pa­per­work.

To date, Be­larus has thir­teen in­vest­ment agents who have the right to rep­re­sent in­ter­ests of the coun­try in the in­ter­na­tional in­vestor com­mu­nity, namely: AKJ Cap­i­tal, Re­nais­sance In­vest­ments Limited, Man­age­ment Com­pany of the Bel­tech Hold­ing Com­pany, BT Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, small busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor “Law and Or­der” law group, CBT De­vel­op­ment (Lo­gis­tics) Limited, Bros­tok, Archipenko, Goret­sky and part­ners, Man­age­ment Com­pany of the HOR­I­ZONT Hold­ing Com­pany, Zubr Cap­i­tal, UFS In­vest­ment Com­pany, Sb-global, and Mr. Jeno Faller.

For­eign In­vest­ments on the Rise

The in­vest­ment pol­icy pur­sued by the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Be­larus is aimed, first of all, at rais­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment means ac­qui­si­tion by a for­eign com­pany of at least 10% of the shares and the right to take part in man­age­rial decision-mak­ing. Such in­vest- ments are cru­cial for pro­mot­ing eco­nomic growth, en­sur­ing sta­ble re­sources pro­vi­sion and in­creas­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the na­tional econ­omy.

De­spite the cri­sis, Be­larus re­mains at­trac­tive to for­eign in­vestors and main­tains a pos­i­tive dy­nam­ics in the area of at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment.

In 2011, Be­larus raised $18.9 bil­lion in gross for­eign in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing $13.2 bil­lion in for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. This is twice as much as in 2010 ($5.6 bil­lion) and 44 times as much as in 2002 ($298.8 mil­lion).

For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment on a net ba­sis is the best in­di­ca­tor of in­vest­ment at­trac­tive­ness of a coun­try, ex­clud­ing debts to a di­rect in­vestor for goods, works and ser­vices.

In 2011 Be­larus raised $3.97 bil­lion in such in­vest­ments, which was well above $1.2 bil­lion in 2010.

Be­larus is home to a num­ber of large for­eign and do­mes­tic com­pa­nies that have a great rep­u­ta­tion in the CIS and Europe.

One of the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies that came to the Be­laru­sian mar­ket was Coca-cola. It hap­pened back in 1994. MAZ-MAN, the Be­laru­sian-ger­man joint ven­ture pro­duc­ing heavy-duty trucks and trac­tors, was founded in Be­larus in 1997.

We would also like to men­tion the ac­qui­si­tion of Bel­transgaz shares by Gazprom, shares of Mozyr Oil Re­fin­ery by Rus­sian oil com­pa­nies (TNK-BP and Gazprom­neft). In the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try these are MTS (MTS, Rus­sia), vel­com (Telekom Aus­tria, Aus­tria) and BEST (Turk­cell, Turkey). In the brew­ing in­dus­try, these are Heineken and Olvi. In the bank­ing sec­tor, 25 out of 31 banks have for­eign in­vestors among their share­hold­ers.

Avail­abil­ity of the bi­lat­eral reg­u­la­tory frame­work be­tween the Repub­lic of Be­larus and other coun­tries is an im­por­tant pre­req­ui­site for at­tract­ing in­vest­ment. Be­larus has signed more than 50 bi­lat­eral agree­ments on in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion, and con­cluded dou­ble tax­a­tion agree­ments with more than 60 coun­tries.

Last year amend­ments to the Con­ven­tion Es­tab­lish­ing the Mul­ti­lat­eral In­vest­ment Guar­an­tee Agency (MIGA) were rat­i­fied. Two ba­sic agree­ments, namely on le­gal pro­tec­tion of guar­an­teed for­eign in­vest­ment and on the use of lo­cal cur­rency, are ex­pected to be signed with MIGA soon.

These doc­u­ments will al­low cre­at­ing con­di­tions com­pli­ant with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for risk in­sur­ance of for­eign in­vestors in this coun­try and will help at­tract

for­eign fi­nan­cial re­sources with­out hav­ing to pro­vide guar­an­tees of the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Be­larus (and there­fore with­out in­creas­ing the size of the public ex­ter­nal debt of the coun­try).

Ex­ten­sion of MIGA guar­an­tee obli­ga­tions to Be­larus con­firms Be­larus’ will­ing­ness to com­ply with the gen­er­ally ac­cepted norms and stan­dards of in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. They will re­move bar­ri­ers to large in­vestors, and will add to the pos­i­tive im­age of Be­larus in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

A frame­work agree­ment be­tween the Repub­lic of Be­larus and the Nordic In­vest­ment Bank was rat­i­fied in 2010. Ne­go­ti­a­tions are un­der­way to sign a frame­work agree­ment with the Nordic En­vi­ron­ment Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (NEFCO). These in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions are pos­si­ble sources of fi­nanc­ing in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­men­tal projects.

Due to all this ef­fort, the share of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment to the Repub­lic of Be­larus has been in­creas­ing in the world to­tal vol­ume of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment.

In­vest­ment Strat­egy

The strat­egy of at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment into the Repub­lic of Be­larus is aimed at stim­u­lat­ing an in­flow of in­vest­ment in ac­cor­dance with the needs of the coun­try in eco­nomic re­forms and in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try, at in­creas­ing in­vest­ment and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of its use on the ba­sis of con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment of the in­vest­ment cli­mate, re­form­ing of state-owned prop­erty and de­vel­op­ment of public-pri­vate part­ner­ships in Be­larus.

The main ob­jec­tives of the strat­egy are to iden­tify the ar­eas of at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and to en­cour­age for­eign in­vest­ment into knowl­edge-based high-tech in­dus­tries. It is also planned to im­prove the struc­ture of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment, to in­crease the share of in­vest­ment into fixed as­sets in use.

The strat­egy is de­signed to en­sure sta­ble and long-term in­flow of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in those ar­eas of the na­tional econ­omy that are com­pet­i­tive, ex­port-ori­ented and can man­u­fac­ture im­port-sub­sti­tu­tion prod­ucts.

The best form of FDI for Be­larus is the cre­ation of joint ven­tures and for­eign en­ter­prises to im­ple­ment green­field in­vest­ment projects. These are di­rect for­eign in­vest­ment in new “from scratch” man­u­fac­tures. Such projects pro­mote new pro­gres­sive tech­nolo­gies and equip­ment as well as in­no­va­tive mar­ket­ing and man­age­ment so­lu­tions, en­cour­age pro­duc­tion of goods un­avail­able on the do­mes­tic mar­ket, fa­cil­i­tate faster ad­vance­ment of com­pet­i­tive prod­ucts to new mar­kets and re­duc­tion of in­ef­fi­cient im­port, and fi­nally, con­trib­ute to higher ef­fi­ciency of the na­tional econ­omy.

Brown­field in­vest­ment projects (par­tial sales of the gov­ern­ment stake in a com­pany to for­eign in­vestors, apart from strate­gi­cally im­por­tant port­fo­lios) are an­other way to get money flow into the coun­try.

Be­larus is pri­mar­ily in­ter­ested in strate­gic in­vestors pro­duc­ing high-tech goods and ser­vices as well as those in­vest­ing in as­sets of ex­port-ori­ented com­pa­nies.

The strat­egy pri­or­i­tizes FDI in high-tech sec­tors, like phar­macy, bio and nan­otech­nolo­gies, high-tech in­dus­try, new ma­te­ri­als, in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo- gies. Among the pri­or­i­ties is also the de­vel­op­ment of clus­ters, i.e. groups of com­pa­nies pos­sess­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, tech­no­log­i­cal, sci-tech and com­mer­cial ties and lo­cated on a par­tic­u­lar ter­ri­tory. Such amal­ga­ma­tion se­cures com­pet­i­tive­ness on the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets (for in­stance, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and linen clus­ters).

En­cour­ag­ing FDI in tra­di­tional in­dus­tries looks very promis­ing as well. These are chem­i­cal pro­duc­tion, ma­chin­ery and equip­ment, elec­tric ac­ces­sories, elec­tronic and op­ti­cal equip­ment, ve­hi­cles, trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, con­struc­tion and pro­duc­tion of build­ing ma­te­ri­als, agri­cul­ture and pro­cess­ing, en­gi­neer­ing and trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, light in­dus­try.

One of the ways to raise FDI in mo­tor-car con­struc­tion is to set up joint com­pa­nies to­gether with transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions, sell shares of state-run or­ga­ni­za­tions or de­velop in­ter­na­tional al­liances to pro­duce car parts, agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery, and trucks.

High-speed con­struc­tion us­ing en­ergy and re­source ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing con­struc­tion of large-panel build­ings, mono­lithic and cast-in-place build­ings will help

make the con­struc­tion sec­tor at­trac­tive for FDI.

Trust-build­ing Mea­sures

Im­prove­ment of the in­vest­ment cli­mate will be based on higher trans­parency of gov­ern­ment bod­ies, reg­u­la­tion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties, ob­ser­vance of the com­pet­i­tive­ness prin­ci­ple, le­gal rights and in­ter­ests of in­vestors and in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion. A wide range of mea­sures will be im­ple­mented to raise in­vest­ment and cre­ate fa­vor­able eco­nomic con­di­tions, re­duce risks and build up trust.

We are go­ing to con­duct an ad­di­tional le­gal eval­u­a­tion of the Be­laru­sian laws that guar­an­tee pro­tec­tion of in­vestors’ rights. Other steps in­clude as­sess­ment of the ef­fi­ciency of the in­sti­tu­tion of in­vest­ment agents, work­ing out pro­pos­als to de­velop an in­te­grated busi­ness model (fran­chis­ing) as well as pro­vi­sion of con­sult­ing ser­vices on or­ga­niz­ing fran­chis­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

One of the mea­sures is to stream­line ac­coun­tancy in com­pli­ance with in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial re­port- ing stan­dards, train and re­train spe­cial­ists in the sec­tor.

Spe­cial at­ten­tion is at­tached to re­form­ing prop­erty re­la­tions and land ac­qui­si­tion.

Fur­ther pri­va­ti­za­tion of the public sec­tor is the key con­di­tion to court for­eign com­pa­nies to Be­larus. This se­cures ra­tio­nal use of re­sources and pro­duc­tion po­ten­tial, im­proves the fi­nan­cial stand­ing of com­pa­nies, and en­hances the in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity of eco­nomic agents.

Pri­va­ti­za­tion is aimed at rais­ing ad­di­tional bud­get re­sources of at least $2.5 bil­lion on an an­nual ba­sis.

Apart from this, the gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to be au­tho­rized to re­struc­ture the debts of busi­ness en­ti­ties to the na­tional bud­get for shares ac­quired in pri­va­ti­za­tion. Be­laru­sian na­tion­als and pri­vate le­gal en­ti­ties will be able to deduct the amount of the fee for the right to con­clude a land lease agree­ment for the next pe­riod from the cost of the land plot they are go­ing to buy.

Cer­tain amend­ments will be in­tro­duced to the pro­ce­dure for hand­ing over to the op­er­at­ing or­gan- iza­tions the com­plete en­gi­neer­ing and trans­port in­fra­struc­ture within free eco­nomic zones.

Thus, res­i­dents of free eco­nomic zones reg­is­tered af­ter 1 Jan­uary 2012 will not have to pay for the right to con­clude an agree­ment on the lease of a land plot, to set off losses in agri­cul­tural and forestry pro­duc­tion caused by the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of a land plot, com­pen­satory pay­ments for the re­moval of flora dur­ing the con­struc­tion of fa­cil­i­ties un­der an in­vest­ment project.

Re­gional au­thor­i­ties and Minsk City Hall will be vested with the right to de­cide upon the sale of uni­tary com­pa­nies as as­sets with un­lim­ited es­ti­mated value; in this case the Pres­i­dent should be in­formed about the terms of the set­tle­ment. Shares of busi­ness en­ti­ties might be al­lowed for sale at the nom­i­nal value if they show neg­a­tive fis­cal re­sults within one cal­en­dar year.

Public-pri­vate part­ner­ship re­mains the only un­en­gaged mech­a­nism of rais­ing in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing FDI. Such co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the gov­ern­ment and busi­ness will help smooth out eco­nomic

con­tra­dic­tions when strate­gi­cally im­por­tant fa­cil­i­ties can­not be sold into pri­vate own­er­ship and at the same time they can­not be funded prop­erly by the cen­tral and re­gional bud­gets. More­over, public-pri­vate part­ner­ship is one of the ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms to re­plen­ish gov­ern­ment funds needed for the de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture.

Its ob­jec­tive is to im­ple­ment projects us­ing pri­vate cap­i­tal and ad­min­is­tra­tive po­ten­tial, while the public sec­tor re­mains re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing nec­es­sary ser­vices to the pop­u­la­tion.

Public-pri­vate part­ner­ship will be ap­plied in the trans­port sec­tor and trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, util­i­ties ser­vices, en­ergy sup­ply, health­care, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture and so­cial ser­vices sec­tor, tourism, re­cre­ation and sport, min­ing in­dus­try, etc. Mean­while, be­fore rel­e­vant le­gal doc­u­ments are adopted, public-pri­vate part­ner­ship projects may be im­ple­mented as part of in­vest­ment and con­ces­sion agree­ments with Be­larus.

The strat­egy of rais­ing FDI draws spe­cial at­ten­tion to the on­go­ing project to con­struct the Chi­ne­seBe­laru­sian in­dus­trial park.

This unique project has im­mense geopo­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic im­por­tance for Be­larus. It has no ana­logues in terms of scale, man­age­ment mech­a­nisms, and sta­tus. This project is ex­pected to boost the in­flow of FDI to Be­larus, set up a num­ber of new ex­port-ori­ented and in­no­va­tive en­ter­prises, use the best prac­tices and sci-tech po­ten­tial of Chi­nese and other global cor­po­ra­tions. These are strate­gic pri­or­i­ties of the Be­laru­sian so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Be­larus has adopted a num­ber of le­gal doc­u­ments to pro­vide the in­dus­trial park with the sta­tus equiv­a­lent to the sta­tus of Be­laru­sian free eco­nomic zones. The spe­cial pol­icy of in­vest­ment ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing land use, tax, fi­nan­cial, ex­port-im­port, for­eign cur­rency reg­u­la­tion, and other pref­er­ences will fa­cil­i­tate the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project.

The park will spe­cial­ize in fine chem­istry, bio­med­i­cine, elec­tron­ics, ma­chin­ery en­gi­neer­ing.

A com­plex in­dus­trial zone with the to­tal area of about 80 square me­ters will be built in the vicin- ity of the Na­tional Air­port Minsk in Smole­vichi Dis­trict, Minsk Oblast.

The joint Be­laru­sian-chi­nese com­pany is be­ing founded to build in­fra­struc­ture and other fa­cil­i­ties in the park. The in­dus­trial zone is ex­pected to at­tract lead­ing transna­tional com­pa­nies and big in­ter- na­tional in­vestors, who are in­ter­ested in the mar­ket of the Cus­toms Union.

Let me re­mind our readers that China has opened credit lines to the tune of about $15 bil­lion for Be­larus. Such credit sup­port is a stim­u­lus for the de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween our com­pa­nies

in many ar­eas. Chi­nese loans are cur­rently used to im­ple­ment joint projects in the ce­ment, en­ergy, con­struc­tion, cel­lu­lose and pa­per, trans­port in­dus­tries.

Be­larus makes use of Chi­nese FDI. In 2008 Chi­nese Midea Group and Be­larus’ Hor­i­zont set up MideaHor­i­zont joint ven­ture. In 2010 Minsk Wheel Trac­tor Plant (MZKT trade­mark) and China’s Xiang Jiang founded the joint en­ter­prise Volat Xiang Jiang. Chi­nese com­pa­nies par­take in the con­struc­tion of the res­i­den­tial dis­trict Le­byazhy, the Pek­ing Ho­tel, and a China town.

Ef­forts to at­tract in­vestors will soon be­come the main trend of global com­pe­ti­tion. Be­larus should not lag be­hind this process, es­pe­cially in the Cus­toms Union.

In or­der to cre­ate more fa­vor­able for­eign trade reg­u­la­tions, there are plans to com­plete har­mo­niza­tion of the Cus­toms Union tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions which set forth uni­fied re­quire­ments for prod­ucts and re­lated pro­cesses. These re­quire­ments aim to lift tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers in for­eign trade and stream­line sta­tis­ti­cal dec­la­ra­tion.

Fur­ther­more, there are plans to im­prove the sys­tem of tax ad­min­is­tra­tion in or­der to re­duce time and la­bor costs us­ing the sys­tem of elec­tronic dec­la­ra­tion.

The strat­egy of rais­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments pro­vides for mea­sures to cre­ate a pos­i­tive in­vest­ment im­age of Be­larus in­form­ing the public both in the coun­try and abroad about the in­vest­ment cli­mate in Be­larus, hold­ing in­vest­ment fo­rums and in­for­ma­tion events with mass me­dia.

We hope that the Na­tional Agency of In­vest­ment and Pri­va­ti­za­tion will play the lead­ing role in this field. But the agency is ex­pected to en­cour­age in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties not only through the ef­fort to cul­ti­vate a pos­i­tive im­age of Be­larus. The or­ga­ni­za­tion is ex­pected to get ac­tively in­volved in im­ple­ment­ing the na­tional in­vest­ment and pri­va­ti­za­tion pol­icy. Par­tic­u­larly, the agency will help work out draft res­o­lu­tions on pri­va­ti­za­tion of sta­te­owned shares, pre­pare pro­pos­als re­gard­ing the sale of pri­va­ti­za­tion fa­cil­i­ties, or­ga­nize and hold auc­tions and ten­ders to sell these fa­cili- ties, and cre­ate a sin­gle data­base on in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing a sin­gle reg­istry of in­vest­ment projects which are fi­nanced with the help of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments.

***

We be­lieve that the strat­egy of rais­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments in the Repub­lic of Be­larus till 2015 will help en­sure an an­nual in­crease in FDI.

In 2015 the in­flow of FDI on a net ba­sis is ex­pected to make up $7-7.5 bil­lion. The share of for­eign sources in cap­i­tal in­vest­ments is planned to reach at least 21%. There is an­other ref­er­ence point, namely the in­flow of FDI per per­son em­ployed in the coun­try’s econ­omy. In 2010 this fig­ure was $1,200, in 2015 it is ex­pected to reach $1,600.

We also ex­pect that the strat­egy will help Be­larus make it to the top 30 coun­tries on the World Bank’s Do­ing Busi­ness rank­ings and im­prove the po­si­tion of Be­larus in the rank­ings of Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice, Fitch Rat­ings, The Her­itage Foun­da­tion, and oth­ers.

Triple­pharm pro­duces new-gen­er­a­tion an­tibi­otics that meet the Euro­pean phar­ma­copeia stan­dards. In 2011 the com­pany saved over € 400,000 for the coun­try’s bud­get

Over the last 17 years Marko has grown into Be­larus’ largest footwear pro­ducer. To­day the com­pany em­ploys about 2,600 pro­fes­sion­als

Brest-based In­ter­liniya fur­ni­ture cen­ter man­u­fac­tures cab­i­net items,

kitchen and bathroom fur­ni­ture. Prod­ucts are in high de­mand in Be­larus

and Rus­sia

A mod­ern bio­gas plant has been in­stalled at the Snov agri­cul­tural com­pany in Nesvizh Dis­trict. Nearly € 7 mil­lion was in­vested in this Be­laru­sian-swiss

project

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