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Myasnikovich urges to step up efforts to attract more FDI into Belarus

MINSK (BelTA) – We need to step up efforts to attract more foreign direct investment into Belarus, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Mikhail Myasnikovich said at a meeting to discuss long-term investment contracts held in the Council of the Republic, BelTA has learned.

“Today enterprises lack proprietary funds; possibilities of the budget are very limited. Loans are limited and expensive. Therefore the way out is to attract more foreign direct investment,” said Mikhail Myasnikovich.

Investment is a key issue for the development of the economy, Mikhail Myasnikovich noted. “Unfortunately, we have little practical movement on this front. We seem to reason in the right way. We say smart things but still capital investments in January-May 2016 declined as compared with the same period last year,” he said. Budget funds account for a large share of total capital investments. The share of foreign investments is just 4.9%.

According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, measures should be taken to remedy the situation and to step up investment activity. He invited the participants of the meeting to share their views and voice their proposals in this regard. “This is a brainstorming session to correct the situation and increase investments, which means, by the way, the GDP growth,” Mikhail Myasnikovich noted.

Separately, the Chairman of the Council of the Republic highlighted the issues of long-term investment borrowings. According to him, this is a special form of lending, which helps implement an investment project and monitor how things are after its execution. “Often we have problems after the implementation of an investment project. There are high risks as to whether the products will be able to compete with, for example, goods from China and other countries. Since a company has incurred into big investment costs, this, of course, seriously affects the structure of prime costs,” he added.

In this connection, the Chairman of the Council of the Republic stressed the importance of increasing the amount of capital investments and creating a certain protectionist regime for goods manufactured by enterprises within the framework of investment projects.