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Foreign investments in Belarus economy close to $19bn in 2011

MINSK, 28 February (BelTA) – In 2011 the Belarusian economy attracted nearly $19 billion in foreign investments, more than twice as much as in 2010, Belarusian Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov told a session of the Council of Ministers Presidium on 28 February.

Belarus received $13 billion in FDI, virtually 150% up on 2010. Belarus is a country where foreign investors are most attracted to the services sphere.

Nikolai Snopkov said the share of foreign direct investments that does not bring innovative technologies to make products with a high added value continued rising. The share reached 87% in 2011, up from 65% in 2010. Lack of positive dynamics in attracting FDI in the production sector disallows fully tapping into the manufacturing and manpower potential in the production sector and agribusiness of Belarus.

The official said as of 16 February 2012 Belarus had 937 investment contracts signed, with planned investments at $19 billion. The bulk of the contracts have been signed by regional level government agencies while central government agencies have yet to use their potential. Of the total number of investment contracts 34 ones have been completed, 198 ones are lagging behind the schedule, 33 ones are suspended or have not been started.

Nikolai Snopkov said that to hit the 2012 FDI target, a list of projects that need minor corrections had been compiled. They provide for attracting at least $1.2 billion in FDI. For now the country lacks clearly built and attractive investment projects, particularly projects worth between $10 million and dozens of millions of US dollars. The Economy Minister expects FDI figures to improve in 2012 and 2013. He reminded serious steps had been made to achieve that. A strategy for attracting FDI till 2015 has been adopted. An investment bill has been prepared. “All the institutional prerequisites for attracting foreign direct investments have been created,” concluded the head of the ministry.