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Net FDI in Belarus’ energy sector to make up $200m in 2013

MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on net basis to the Belarusian energy industry should make up $200 million in 2013. The issue was brought to the limelight by Energy Minister Alexander Ozerets as he presented the report on the 2012 results and goals for 2013 in the government on 10 January.

According to Alexander Ozerets, upgrade projects up to 2015 have been developed for every organization under the energy ministry. They envisage events aimed at increasing labor capacity, salaries, profits and implementation of investment projects in pursuance of the social and economic development forecast. The Energy Ministry instructed its organizations to ensure modernization in line with the approved plans, including net FDI attraction which should total $200 million this year.

Belarus Premier Mikhail Myasnikovich instructed the Energy Minister to expedite the development of approaches towards an efficient tariff and investment policy in 2013.

The Belarusian PM also heard out the reports of the heads of the State Committee for Standardization and Bellesbumprom Concern. They updated the government on the economic state of their industries, fulfillment of the forecast as well as the modernization of the companies including the volume and sources of financing for these purposes.

Chairman of the State Committee for Standardization Viktor Nazarenko touched upon the issues of technical re-equipment of the subordinate companies. This year they plan to draw Br40 billion in capital investment. The amount has been calculated for the purchase of necessary equipment. Besides, the committee will continue its work alongside the EU technical aid projects. One of the projects envisages €6.5 million financing to upgrade three laboratories testing foodstuffs in Belarus. Another technical aid project estimated at €6.9 million pending signing. The project is aimed at the development of a modern laboratory in Belarus to test energy efficiency of the product.

On the whole, there are over 5,000 laboratories in Belarus. Some testing capacities are currently expendable. With this, there is a need to conduct new types of research. The Premier ordered to coordinate the development of testing laboratories, regulate their number and distribute the functions (for the purposes of economy, education, etc.). The parties considered further improvement of the activity of the State Committee for Standardization keeping in mind developing cooperation between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan within the Customs Union.

As for plans for 2013, Mikhail Myasnikovich was also briefed by Bellesbumprom Concern Head Alexander Pereslantsev. This year the production output in the organizations of the concern should go up by 13%, the exports are expected to grow 18%. Net FDI to the projects of woodworking are envisaged at the amount of $20 million, those to the cellulose, pulp, paper and cardboard production - $30 million.

In 2013 the concern is going to put into operation seven new facilities as part of investment programs. These projects include chip board production at FanDOK, a hardboard production line at Vitebskdrev, an upgrade of Mogilevdrev, others. The economic benefits from the implementation of these investment project in 2013 are estimated at Br990 billion.

The Prime Minister pointed to the necessity to build up Bellesbumprom exports. Today 47% of all industrial products of the concern’s companies are supplied to the domestic market and 53% are exported. Mikhail Myasnikovich reminded the government the task that had been set forth for the country to reach 65% in the exports of industrial products.