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15 June 2016, 13:45

Austrian companies eager to invest in Belarusian economy

MINSK, 15 June (BelTA) – Austrian companies are eager to invest in the economy of Belarus, Vienna Vice Mayor Johann Gudenus told reporters at the Belarusian-Austrian business forum on 15 June, BelTA has learned.

The forum brought together representatives of some 20 Austrian companies ready to establish direct contacts with Belarusian partners. “I promise that this visit will be followed by other visits. Vienna-based and other Austrian companies show a great deal of interest in investing in Belarus,” Johann Gudenus emphasized. He noted that members of the Austrian delegation are determined to make maximum use of the visit and obtain concrete results.

Johann Gudenus believes that the strengthening of economic ties underpins the relations between the two countries. It will enhance the understanding between Belarus and Austria in other areas, including culture and friendship between peoples.

An Austrian business delegation led by the Vienna Vice Mayor is visiting Belarus from 14 to 16 June. The Minsk office of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a forum and a business matchmaking session on 15 June.

The economic cooperation between Belarus and Austria received a considerable boost in 2014. The intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation resumed its work. The first Austrian-Belarusian-Russian economic forum took place in November 2014. Its participants signed an agreement to set up Belarusian-Austrian business council.

In recent years, Austria has been among five major investors in the Belarusian economy. This country makes a considerable contribution to the modernization of Belarusian enterprises. Austrian companies have been investing in Belarus from $500 million to $1 billion annually over the past ten years. In 2015, Belarus received $353.4 million in Austrian investments. A number of large-scale woodworking, chemical, transport and construction projects to the tune of $400 million are nearing completion thanks to the help from the Austrian companies Kronospan, Kapsch and VST.

There are as many as 128 companies with Austrian capital registered in Belarus, including 41 foreign enterprises, 72 joint ventures, and 17 representative offices.

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