Belarus declines investment totalling USD 10 billion in 2003

Over the last several months Belarus has had to refuse investment projects totalling approximately USD 10 billion, said President Alexander Lukashenko at a seminar entitled 'government investment politics' in Brest on June 19.

The President's press service told Rosbalt that according to Lukashenko it was necessary for Belarus to refuse these offers because of the 'one-sided nature of the investments.' Lukashenko said that over the past ten years almost USD 22 billion has been invested by individuals in Belarus. At the same time, foreign investment over the same period was more than USD 4 billion of which USD 2.5 billion was in credits guaranteed by the government and only USD 1.7 billion is direct investment.

Lukashenko said 'if we are talking about the purchase of Belorussian companies for practically nothing then we must act in this area very carefully, starting from the proposed conditions and goals of investing. He also said at the seminar that Belarus is seeking to attract foreign investment of not less than USD 1 billion for 2003. However the government has raised that level even higher to USD 1.5 billion. 'It isn't easy to attract that level of investment, therefore we need to master attracting investment on advantageous terms for Belarus and maximize the mobilization of domestic resources,' said Lukashenko.

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