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New investment generation approaches in Minsk

MINSK, 23 August (BelTA) – The Minsk City Executive Committee is introducing new approaches to attracting investments. The statement was made by Deputy Chairwoman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Zhanna Birich on 22 August, BelTA has learned.

Zhanna Birich noted that the number of investment contracts in Minsk had been decreasing lately while the number of contracts for the right to design and build as well as investment projects implemented after auctions to sell either real estate or rights to land plots had been rising. The official attributed the situation to a more balanced approach to signing investment contracts on strategic investment projects and the wider use of tenders for the sake of attracting investments, which is closer to the international practice and puts investors into equal conditions, she explained.

Among priority forms of investment projects for 2013 and 2014 the official mentioned auctions for the right to design and build as well as auctions to sell real estate, tenders to choose contractors to build residential houses. “The new approaches are being introduced in Minsk for the sake of generating investments and improving the investment climate,” said the Deputy Chairwoman of the Minsk City Executive Committee.

According to Zhanna Birich, efforts of the city services should be aimed at creating a system to detect ineffectively used land plots, real estate and get them involved in the economic flow in addition to improving the quality of town planning passports.

The Minsk city administration has considerably improved control over the implementation of investment projects, a three-stage system to keep an eye on the progress of investment projects is in place, noted the official. Since 2012 over Br12 billion in fines has been collected from dishonest investors. The Minsk City Executive Committee has terminated 21 investment contracts, with the termination of another five in progress.

Zhanna Birich believes it is advisable to more actively use presidential decree No. 10 for the sake of implementing projects designed to create export-oriented, high-tech and science-intensive enterprises, social services, infrastructure objects, cutting-edge types of high technologies, financial and insurance services. “To achieve that, Minsk has all the opportunities and a potential. An effective system to interact with investors has been created. Support is granted to the development of small and medium business, efforts are put into getting ineffectively used areas involved in the economic flow,” she said.

In January-July 2013 fixed-capital investments of Minsk corporations amounted to about Br20.8 trillion, 96.1% as against the same period of last year, while the target stands at 104%. Behind the curve were several district administrations of the city. A low fixed-capital investment pace was registered in enterprises of the Industry Ministry, the Transport and Communications Ministry, the Information Technologies and Communications Ministry, the Trade Ministry, the Energy Ministry, the food industry concern Belgospishcheprom, and the Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies.

Zhanna Birich said that in order to reach the level of 2012 it is necessary to pour at least Br22 trillion in fixed-capital investments, including Br5 trillion in housing construction, in the remaining five months of the current year.

Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Nikolai Ladutko remarked: “The incomplete usage of fixed-capital investments represents virtually the disruption of plans to modernize enterprises. This and the low participation in tenders of the Innovation Fund of the Minsk City Executive Committee are inadmissible. It is necessary to expand the work scheme to improve the city’s investment policy”.