Ed­i­tors’ note:

Economy of Belarus - - REGIONAL NEWS -

The Au­gus­tow Canal Park was es­tab­lished in May 2011. The ad­min­is­tra­tion of the free economic zone Grod­noin­vest is in charge of its man­age­ment. The park oc­cu­pies over 5,800ha. It com­prises the Au­gus­tow Canal and the wa­ter­course of the Ne­man River with ad­ja­cent ter­ri­to­ries in Grodno and Grodno District. Au­gus­tow Canal Park res­i­dent com­pa­nies are granted tax and cus­toms pref­er­ences for in­vest­ment projects.

The Au­gus­tow Canal is one of the largest canals in Europe. It con­nects the Ne­man River and the Vis­tula River via a net­work of canals, smaller rivers, and lakes. The Au­gus­tow Canal was built in the pe­riod be­tween the be­gin­ning and the mid­dle of the 19th cen­tury. Back then, 29 flow-through dams were built to­gether with 18 sluices, 14 bridges, and 24 sup­port and main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties. How­ever, with the rise of rail­way trans­porta­tion the canal lost its im­por­tance as a trans­port route.

The canal was se­ri­ously dam­aged dur­ing the two world wars. In 20042006, the Be­laru­sian part of the canal was re­stored. A num­ber of sluices and draw­bridges were re­built. At present, the Au­gus­tow Canal is about 102km long, with 22km in Be­larus and the rest in Poland. The canal is pri­mar­ily used for leisure and tourism.

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