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17 December 2021, 17:19

Deputy minister: Attractive jurisdiction will boost investment flows to Belarus

An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 17 December (BelTA) – An attractive national jurisdiction will encourage investment flows into the domestic economy, Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Anzhelika Nikitina said at a meeting of the Standing Committee for Economy, Budget and Finances of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, BelTA learned from the press service of the Economy Ministry.

Anzhelika Nikitina presented the bills “On Amendments to the Law On Investments of the Republic of Belarus” and “On Amendments to the Law On Free Economic Zones of the Republic of Belarus”. She emphasized that an attractive jurisdiction will intensify the inflow of investments into the economy.

The deputy minister explained the essence of the key amendments to the law on investments. “One of the most important amendments set out in the bill is to limit the possibility to cancel decisions made by government agencies if this may cause damage to investor's property. A bona fide businessman should not incur damage because of procedural errors made by officials,” she said.

Another amendment concerns the ‘stabilization clause' against unfavorable changes in legislation, like introducing new taxes or increasing existing ones. An important point is that the scale of the ‘stabilization clause' for investment agreements cannot exceed that of agreements signed at the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone. This requirement was formalized by the president's directive on the development of relations with China.

“The updated law will formalize the requirement to provide a full and timely compensation to an investor for the seizure of their property by the state, adjust the conceptual framework, increase the period of pre-trial settlement up to six months and introduce other targeted adjustments to get the document up to speed with the world's best practices,” Anzhelika Nikitina said.

Improving laws on free economic zones (FEZs) is another line of legislative work. Their performance is increasing faster than the national average: output, revenues, exports, investments and ultimately jobs. Therefore, the goal of this legislative effort is to create a more enabling environment for new manufacturing projects.

"The business community, regional administrations, the Minsk City Hall regularly suggested adjusting the boundaries of the FEZ for promising business ideas. It is clear that the shorter the period of coordination and approval is, the faster these ideas can get off the ground. Proceeding from this, in March this year, during a meeting on the redistribution of powers between the authorities, the head of state gave an instruction to transfer these powers to the Council of Ministers. We have carefully studied the relevant experience of our partners in the EAEU where these issues are within the purview of the government. As a result, the rule to obtain the president's approval for the inclusion of agricultural and forest lands in the FEZ has remained in place. Another rule has remained unchanged, namely the boundaries of the FEZ can be expanded exclusively for specific investment projects,” Anzhelika Nikitina said.

As a result of the meeting, the Standing Commission for Economy, Budget and Finances of the Council of the Republic approved two bills.

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