MINSK, 22 November (BelTA) – Belarus is open to investors who are interested in setting up high-tech companies in the country, Belarusian Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov said at the Belarusian investment forum held as part of Belarus' National Day at EXPO 2020 in Dubai on 22 November, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Chervyakov named five reasons why foreign investors choose Belarus for their projects. “The first one is the country's advantageous geographical position. Belarus is at the crossroads of trade routes from Russia and Asia to Europe, as well as between the countries of the Baltic and Black Sea regions. If we draw a circle with a radius of some 2,000 kilometers, with Minsk in the center, we see that a quarter of the world's GDP is produced within its boundaries,” he said.
The second reason is its membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. “Goods produced in Belarus have free access to the 180-million market of the EAEU, as well as the countries with which it has free trade agreements,” the minister added.
The third reason is high human capital. “According to the World Bank index, Belarus ranked 36th among 174 countries by human capital potential, which confirms the high level of health, education, and competencies in the country. The higher education system effectively meets the needs of business for qualified personnel. Now there are more than 250,000 students in Belarusian universities, 30,000 of them are foreigners,” he explained.
The fourth one is resource potential. “Belarus provides more than 18% of the world's demand for potash fertilizers, as well as woodworking and agricultural enterprises with its own raw materials. The key resource is the unique nature. Clean air and water help the country create conditions for the production of environmentally friendly products, to develop medical tourism,” the minister said.
The final one is, of course, the country's investment climate. “Almost the entire territory of the country is effectively functioning preferential regimes. Companies can reduce investment costs and the tax burden, locating their businesses in free economic zones, the High-Tech Park and the Great Stone Industrial Park, within small and medium-sized towns. The key thing in our investment policy is trust at the state, corporate and, of course, human level. Without trust there is no investment,” Aleksandr Chervyakov stressed.
Summing up, the economy minister stated that these are only a few opportunities the country has. “We see prospects for cooperation in instrument-making, light industry, production of construction materials, agro-industrial complex, logistics and communications. Belarusian products are used underground, on the ground, in the air and in space. We are open to any investors who would like to set up modern high-tech enterprises in our country,” he said.
Belarus' National Day and the Belarusian investment forum at EXPO 2020 in Dubai opened on 22 November. The events are organized by the National Agency of Investment and Privatization in partnership with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Marketing Center.
The main goal of the forum was to gather professionals and high-level representatives of the private and public sector on one platform to discuss current challenges and new opportunities for investment. The geography of participants comprised 15 countries, most of which were from the Persian Gulf states.
The event program included a plenary session with presentations by key speakers and specialized panels: the Belarusian-Emirati business forum in the format of contact and cooperation exchange, a round table with representatives of international investment funds, a session of signing memorandums and agreements, negotiations and consultations of Arab businessmen with the National Agency of Investment and Privatization and other forum participants.
About 150 people took part in the forum. Among them were owners and top managers of companies from the UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, investment funds from the UAE, Qatar, and Oman. Belarus was represented by the administration of the Great Stone Industrial Park, Hi-Tech Park, investment consultants, and others.