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INVESTMENT ONLINE CONFERENCE FROM RECOVERY TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

When

11:00 - 14:00 (GMT +3:00) 31 Jul, 2020

Where

online

About The CONFERENCE

On 31 July 2020, senior policymakers, business executives and international experts gathered online to review the latest investment trends, share views on advantages of the investment environment in Belarus, explore opportunities for doing business in our country, and discuss further development of the economic integration in the EAEU. We have highlighted key ideas for you in a 35-minute video. You can also watch the full replay on the YouTube channel of the National Agency of Investment and Privatization “Invest in Belarus” or download it from the “Conference materials” section.

YOU CAN WATСH THE FULL VIDEO REPLAY OF THE INVESTMENT ONLINE CONFERENCE

using the link

Conference materials

PRESENTATION BY MR. ALEKSANDR CHERVYAKOV, MINISTER OF ECONOMY, THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Invest in Belarus

PRESENTATION BY MR. JAMES ZHAN, DIRECTOR OF THE INVESTMENT and ENTERPRISE DIVISION, UNCTAD

Prospects for global investment and value chains beyond the COVID-19 crisis

Presentation by Ms. Martina Larkin, Head of Europe and Eurasia, Member of the Executive Committee, WEF

The Great Reset 

Answers to the questions from the conference participants 

Investment Intention Form

Investment Online Conference Digest

Answers to the questions from the conference participants

1. Where can I get presentations fr om the conference? 

You can download the presentations from the “Conference materials” section at https://conference.investinbelarus.by/. We also look forward to welcoming you at the future events of the National Agency of Investment and Privatization. Follow our updates: http://www.investinbelarus.by/, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter. 

2. What are the advantages of investing in Belarus?

There are lots of benefits for companies considering investment in Belarus. Here are the top advantages. 1. Unique location in the middle of Europe, between EU and EAEU and at the intersection of significant Trans-European transport corridors. This ensures vicinity to the EU technology and capital markets, free movement of goods (no customs duties) within EAEU (Belarus is a member-state) with over 180 mln potential consumers and vast opportunities to diversify exports of finished products and imports of raw materials and components. 2. Conducive investment climate with a wide range of various preferential regimes, progressive national legal framework and economic stability. From FEZ/SEZ to Hi-Tech Park and individual investment agreements, businesses can choose the most convenient conditions, proceeding from their scope of interest, field of activity and investment/development strategy. 3. Solid human potential with highly qualified workforce and great opportunities for education. Easy access to the developed market of experienced multi-profile professionals considerably simplifies the process of hiring specialists with necessary knowledge and relevant skills. 4. Advanced transport and logistics infrastructure with ample opportunities to connect to the current and emerging global and, what is essential amid impact of the COVID-19, regional supply chains. You can also learn even more at http://www.investinbelarus.by/.

3. How can I invest in Belarus? Can I acquire a land plot? 

Belarus is open for investment. There are different ways to invest, from registering a legal entity to establishing a production site. All the necessary conditions have already been created in Belarus, including certain mechanisms for the implementation of investment projects: free economic zones, “Great Stone” Industrial Park with the most attractive conditions in terms of tax incentives and preferences. Investors can also conclude investment agreements which provide general benefits for projects’ implementation all across Belarus. National Agency of Investment and Privatization of Belarus renders comprehensive support to investors for the realization of their ideas. As for land plots acquisition, the Belarusian legislation stipulates a private ownership option. However, its enforcement is subject for an individual review of certain characteristics (investment object, project’s social value, investment volume, etc.). 

4. What incentives will be provided for foreign companies which plan to invest in Belarus, a country located close to EU?

Please visit http://www.investinbelarus.by/en/preferencial-regimes/ to explore key incentives within the ample preferential regimes in Belarus which foreign companies can benefit from when doing business in our country. If you need a more detailed consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us using a preferred option in the bottom right corner on our website’s main page http://www.investinbelarus.by/en/. 

5. Is a local partner required to start business in Belarus? What is the minimum physical investment required while incorporating a company?

Investment legislation of Belarus stipulates that investors may represent both foreign and national entities. There are no restrictions or requirements in terms of local partnerships for investment activities or minimum investment volume for incorporating a company in Belarus.

6. When is the “Great Stone” Belt and Road Forum II going to be held?

The II Belt and Road Forum, scheduled to take place this year, was postponed due to the global pandemic. We have the necessary agreements with the Chinese Side to organize this significant event. The concrete date will be determined later. In 2019, the Belt and Road Forum took place on 2 July. 

7. What are the most prominent areas for investment in Belarus (innovation sphere, especially, of interest)?

There are many promising spheres for investment in Belarus. As for innovation, we believe that digital agriculture may present today a special interest for investors. The project’s implementation in this sphere involves development, integration and application of agricultural appliances that use Internet technologies (telemetry, geo-information systems, differentiated fertilization technologies, “AIoT” platforms and applications) for agricultural work, as well as other types of products in the field of digital agriculture. The Hi-Tech Park is the preferential regime in Belarus for software companies that is well-known worldwide. 

8. How do you view the role of biotechnology in the future economy of Belarus? How do you plan to attract biotechnology startups to Belarus?

Over the recent decade, biotechnologies have been considered one of the priorities for the innovative development of Belarus. Three relevant state programmes were implemented during this period: State Programme “Innovative Biotechnologies” for 2010-2012 and until 2015, State Programme for Innovative Development of Belarus for 2016-2020, State Programme “Science-intensive technologies and engineering” for 2016-2020 (includes a sub-programme “Innovative biotechnologies” for 2016-2020). This provided for a creation of a necessary technological and technical base to further develop this sector. National Academy of Sciences of Belarus was designated as an entity responsible for the development of this sphere. Two state programmes will encourage biotechnologies development in Belarus in the nest 5 years, i.e. State Programme for Innovative Development – 2025 and State Programme “Science-intensive technologies and engineering” – 2025 (will also include a sub-programme “Innovative biotechnologies”). Industrial Park ‘Great Stone” remains the main platform for the attraction of startups in biotechnologies. The park offers favorable conditions along with the scientific and innovation infrastructure necessary for foreign startup initiatives. 

9. Wh ere do you see some of the most interesting opportunities in the Renewable Energy sector? 

Belarus belongs to the group of countries which do not possess considerable fuel and energy resources. In this context, great significance is being attributed to the energy security in our country. Amid the growing global deficit and permanent price increase of the traditional energy resources, investment in projects which develop local and renewable energy resources present topical interest both from the economic and ecological perspectives. The law No 204-З “On renewable energy sources” of 27 December 2010 is the main legal document which defines the development of the renewables in Belarus. Governmental support and efforts to encourage the use of renewables is one of the main principles of the state policy in this sphere. Production of biomass and construction of biogas stations may present a priority interest for potential investors.

10. What opportunities does Belarus offer for the development of agritourism?

 Agroecotourism is one of the modern and rapidly developing types of tourism in Belarus. Since 2010, the number of farms offering agroecotourism services has almost doubled. Tourist traffic in this area is also growing. Thus, since 2010, there has been an annual increase in the number of agroecotourists by an average of 28% per year. As of the end of 2018, 2,054 agroecotourism entities were registered with the tax authorities of Belarus. In 2019, tourists were accepted by more than 2.7 thousand subjects of agroecotourism. Rural and ecotourism are among the most dynamically developing segments of the tourist market of the Republic of Belarus. Belarus’ membership in the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), membership in well – known organizations - the European Center for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT) and the International Society for Ecotourism (TIES) - contributes to the formulation of goals and ways to develop agrotourism in the country. The state pays great attention to the development of agro - and ecotourism. In order to develop this sphere in Belarus, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 365 of October 9, 2017 “On the development of agroecotourism” was adopted. In order to provide services in the field of agroecotourism, agroecotourism entities have the right to engage individuals under employment contracts and (or) civil law contracts. The main normative legal acts regulating relations in the field of tourism: 1. Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 326-Z of November 25, 1999, “On tourism”; 2. Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 372 of June 2, 2006 “On measures for the development of agroecotourism in the Republic of Belarus”; 3. Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 365 of October 9, 2017 “On the development of agroecotourism”; 4. Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 371 of June 2, 2006 “On certain measures of state support for the development of tourism in the Republic of Belarus”. Belarus is also currently implementing a number of state programmes that provide measures and funds to create a modern tourism infrastructure in various regions of the country. The state programme “Belarus hospitable” for 2016-2020 is aimed at creating and developing a modern competitive tourist complex, increasing the contribution of tourism to the development of the national economy. The draft of national strategy for the development of tourism in the Republic of Belarus until 2035 has also been developed, including strategic goals for the development of tourism, a mechanism for implementation, and a Roadmap. 

11. We are (have been for some time) interested in establishing a Joint Venture operation with Belarusian partners to address WtE opportunity solutions both in Belarus and across the EEU Regional market. I would be very pleased to hear from prospective partners with a view to manufacturing our engine/gensets in Belarus as a Regional hub for domestic and export applications. 

The initiative to produce electrical and heat energy from garbage incineration (recovery of waste) is one of the prospective areas supported by the Government of Belarus. If you have any substantive proposals related to this sphere, you are kindly invited to contact the National Agency of Investment and Privatization in order to coordinate this activity with the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Economy and other state authorities to further elaborate mechanisms for the implementation of relevant projects. 

12. There are many interesting investment projects in the database of the Investment and Privatization Agency. Who checks whether these projects are up-to-date, whether the Belarusian companies listed in the census have the creditworthiness to receive loans for investment. Who is responsible for the accuracy of these data? 

Information available on the Portal is uploaded by specialists of the local executive committees (EC) in coordination with the Minsk and regional ECs, as well as by representatives of other state authorities. Professionals from the National Agency of Investment and Privatization on a regular basis ensure moderation and supervision of the uploaded information, including visits to the regions and the general coordination of work with the Portal. 

13. What is your view on the current risk-reward premium respective for the region, in other words what kind of yield in USD can we expect in making region specific investments? 

The projected profitability normally depends on a multitude of factors, including type and field of investment, estimated project’s duration, etc. To encourage FDI inflows, Belarus has adopted progressive legislation to ensure equal rights of foreign and local investors, as well as created a number of preferential regimes for different kinds of businesses. Please visit http://www.investinbelarus.by/en/preferencial-regimes/ to learn more about the existing opportunities and use a calculator on our website https://map.investinbelarus.by/en/calculator/ to compare available measures of state support. If you have any investment ideas and proposals, we would also suggest contacting us through one of the available options on our website to discuss them in detail. You can also fill in and send us the form of investment intention available in the “Conference materials” section at https://conference.investinbelarus.by/. 

14. Why is Belarus an interesting investment location when doing business with Russia and other member states of the Eurasian Economic Union? 

Incentives and preferences, almost equally provided by the EAEU member-states, are not the key factors. Advanced infrastructure, high quality of the labor force (while preserving adequate compensation) along with the considerable trade turnover with the EAEU member-states are the competitive advantages of businesses in Belarus. Belarus is the only EAEU member-state to maintain prevalence of trade with its partners in the EAEU over the trade with third countries.

15. The EAEU Common Market is positive. However, I have heard that Russian companies want to buy "Made in Russia", not "Made in Belarus". What is the reality?

Import substitution policy is being actively implemented today in the Russian Federation. At the same time, there are agreements in the EAEU on equality of goods originating from the EAEU member-states and on technological operations in those countries. The meeting of the Eurasian intergovernmental council held on 17 July 2020 in Minsk is a recent example. It resulted in the consent of the Russian Federation to adjust its policies regulating access of industrial goods to public procurement procedures.

16. Does EAEU have the prospects for becoming a real economic integration? 

Creating a trajectory to transform EAEU into a real economic union is the main objective of Belarus’ current chairmanship in the EAEU. To that end, a work is being carried out in the Eurasian Economic Commission to define strategic areas for the development of the Eurasian economic integration until 2025. A draft document was endorsed, in general, at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on 19 May 2020. The work on eliminating remaining controversies is also underway now. 

17. How does EAEU consider Southeast Asia (especially Indonesia) as a potential market and a good economic partner in the world?

Southeast Asia is a dynamically developing region, and ASEAN countries present great interest for trade partnerships with the EAEU. The second list of countries for free trade negotiations is being prepared now in the EAEU. Belarus welcomes the idea of adding Indonesia to this list. 

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