Belarus Intends to Attract USD 1.5 Billion in Foreign Investment in 2003

Belarus is planning to take steps to attract more foreign investment including Russian investment. This was announced in an official press release from the Belarus embassy in Russia on Monday, February 10. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed at the embassy Belarus already has a government programme to attract USD 1.5 billion in foreign investment in 2003. Apparently the Belarus government is planning to introduce monetary, price and tax reform in 2003 for this reason. In particular, there are plans to change the Belarus investment code in order to provides preferential terms for the importation of property in the form of investments in the authorised fund of enterprises.

Petrochemical companies are in greatest need of investment. Azot (Grodno) for example needs about USD 50 million in foreign investment for modernisation purposes. Belshina (Bobruisk) also needs foreign investment for modernisation. Equipment worth USD 72.2 million is needed from Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Japan for the completion of three projects to produce different types of tyres at Belshina.

The energy sector also requires foreign investment. About USD 29 million in foreign investment is needed for the reconstruction of the heat and power plant in Minsk (replacement of deteriorated facilities and implementation of steam and gas equipment). Vitebskenergo's projects to construct a hydroelectric plant on the Western Dvina river and reequip the Lukomlsk electric power station require about USD 21 million and USD 50 million respectively.

There is a demand for foreign equipment in the timber and pulp and paper industries. Dobrushskaya Paper Factory for example needs about USD 25 million to organise paper production. Svetlogorsk Pulp and Paper Factory needs about USD 388 million in order to construct a factory for the production of sulphate cellulose.

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