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Belarus in talks with China, Israel over venture capital funds

Economy 28.01.2016 | 10:28

MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – Belarus is talking over the setting up of venture capital funds with China and Israel, Chairman of the State Science and Technology Committee of Belarus Alexander Shumilin told BelTA.

“We have already announced our talks with the Russian ventures company, and I hope that we will launch the Belarusian-Russian venture capital investment fund this year. It is a pilot project. Russian counterparts possess more experience in the area and they suggested setting up investment partnership without company formation. Russia will be its managing partner within the first three years, while our team will learn. We will occupy this position for the next three years. Belarus is also in talks with China and Israel on setting up a venture capital fund. It is a big industry we would like to have in Belarus,” he stressed.

According to Alexander Shumilin, venture capital financing is a new area for Belarus. There is almost no venture capital in the country. “It is an area of funding when money are invested with a high risk of losing the investment. Americans have counted that only 30% of venture projects reach their funding goal today. It is viewed a high percentage. About 40% are loss-making. However, these 30% of successful projects secure excessive profit for the whole venture capital investing sector. According to the U.S. estimates, only 5% of successfully implemented ideas are enough to pay way,” he explained.

The Chairman of the State Science and Technology Committee, not all the necessary conditions have been created in Belarus for the development of such financing. “We also need to change our way of thinking. We should understand and accept that two thirds of such projects will not bring profit. Venture capital investing cannot be developed otherwise. Plus we need to develop our capital market which gives an opportunity to companies for share quotation. This mechanism is hardly used here with big firms, never mind startups,” he said.

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