By Vitaly Volyanyuk
On welcoming his guests, Alexander Lukashenko stressed that stability and predictability are vital for business in any country. According to him, Belarus boasts both advantages.
David Faktor, Managing Director and co-owner of Stemcor Holdings Limited, which specialises in steel sales, is already certain that Belarus has a good climate for injections. “We’ve found honesty and reliability here,” he notes. Vincent Pierce, the Executive Director and owner of Laurence Pierce, explains that his company has been working in Belarus for 20 years and that ‘he has never doubted recommending Belarus to other partners as a place for business’. “I’m glad to say that we don’t have any problems.”
Belarus has done its best to assure investors of state support. The British and Irish business representatives have been invited to take part in the privatisation of open joint stock companies (shares in 180 enterprises are to be sold this year). “If you aspire to take part in this process, you’re welcome,” noted Mr. Lukashenko, inviting co-operation. He added that he also welcomes the creation of new manufacturing facilities. “There’s a ‘green light’ for you here,” he said.
Speaking of investment into new manufacturing sites, he stressed that, in launching a project in Belarus, close to the EU border, investors simultaneously receive access to the 170m market of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
“We’ll do everything we can on our side to enable you to launch production in Belarus within six months, or by the end of the year at the latest,” Mr. Lukashenko emphasised, adding that he expects a reciprocal business-like character and efficiency from these business partners.
The foreign guests noted that they are keen to implement several serious projects in Belarus, in various spheres: the extraction and sale of potash fertilisers; the modernisation of Belarusian cement factories; the recycling of sugar production waste; and the extraction and processing of sapropels. They were assured that Belarus is interested in all the above mentioned areas and is open to collaboration with British and Irish business circles.