GOMEL, 23 March (BelTA) – Companies residing in Belarus' free economic zones accounted for one fifth of the country's industrial output in 2022. Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Yuri Chebotar made the statement during the 3rd Congress of Free Economic Zones in Gomel on 23 March, BelTA has learned.
Yuri Chebotar stressed that the Economy Ministry tightly cooperates with municipal authorities, administrations of free economic zones and technoparks in order to enable better conditions for the development of promising territories.
The growing pressure of sanctions and the challenges triggered by it necessitated an immediate response if investment appeal for foreign and domestic businesses was to be preserved, the official pointed out. “Primarily, efforts to preserve existing manufacturing enterprises. Throughout 2022 the central government worked with municipal government agencies to promptly diversify target markets, work out optimal transportation and logistics chains and ties, organize import-substituting manufacturing projects,” he recounted.
According to Yuri Chebotar, the availability of effective preferential business operation regimes such as free economic zones played a special role in accomplishing the assigned tasks.
“Despite current challenges positive dynamics of the main indicators of financial and economic performance of free economic zones was secured. An increase in foreign direct investments, volumes of output, earnings, export, and paid taxes was registered. Last year companies residing in the free economic zones made one fifth of the country's industrial goods, secured one fourth of the merchandise export, and generated about 6% of the country's GDP,” Yuri Chebotar said.
In his words, at present Belarusian FEZs are home to over 400 companies with capital from 35 countries. Projects are in progress in such areas as chemistry, electronics, woodworking, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, and other ones.
The 3rd Congress of Free Economic Zones is taking place in Gomel on 23-24 March. The forum is focused on free economic zones, industrial and R&D parks as drivers of territorial development. Over 250 people have confirmed their participation in the congress. They are representatives of free economic zones, industrial, scientific, and technological parks from Belarus, Russia, and Uzbekistan as well as representatives of the Belarusian Economy Ministry, the Gomel Oblast administration, the Gomel city administration, heads of the companies residing in FEZ Gomel-Raton.