Foreign investments in the Minsk region
In the first quarter of 2011 the Minsk region attracted $ 20 million in foreign direct investment, said the Chairman of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee Boris Batura during his press conference held on 13 May.
He noted that the primary goal was to attract $ 1 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011. “All the calculations and 250 investment agreements, including more than 50 FDI agreements, make us believe that we will cope with this task”, said the Head of the Minsk region.
Optimism of the “governor” is questionable. Indeed, during April the volume of the FDI increased by about $ 13 million, which is almost double of the amount of the FDI attracted in January-February ($ 6.8 million). Nevertheless, the $ 20 million attracted in the first quarter is only 2% of the amount planned for the year. The Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee for Economy Alexander Ermak assessed the situation more realistically at a field meeting, held in late April in Dzerzhinsk, “Reserves are a significant however our inefficiency and sometimes reluctance to draft high quality proposals for investors brings no results. If this work is not improved, the foreign investment in the region will remain a distant prospect”.
“Reserves are a significant however our inefficiency and sometimes reluctance to draft high quality proposals for investors brings no results. If this work is not improved, the foreign investment in the region will remain a distant prospect”.
Among the projects already underway in the Minsk region is the construction of a logistics center with the participation of the Lithuanian capital in Rakov, and the logistics center “Prilesje” near the National airport “Minsk-2” with the involvement of the Iranian capital. Also, the JSC “Amkodor” attracts large amounts of foreign investment in Zhodino Molodechno and Dzerzhinsk, according to Batura.
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.