Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Prime Minister Sidorski Meets with Visiting US Businesspeople

Belarus is interested in drawing investments from the United States, Prime Minister Syarhey Sidorski said while meeting with a delegation of US top business executives in Minsk on March 30.

"It seems to me that we are on the right track of building interests through economy in politics," Mr. Sidorski said.

In an apparent reference to targeted economic sanctions imposed by Washington on Belarus several years ago, the prime minister noted that bilateral trade had reached more than $700 million before "economic cooperation with American partners was suspended due to political motives." He said that a number of Belarusian enterprises had been forced to suspend exports to the United States.
At the same time, he stressed, the Belarusian government "gave a signal to our enterprises not to interrupt contacts with American companies, in particular in the high-technology, chemical, petrochemical spheres."

Mr. Sidorski expressed satisfaction with the fact that "US companies treat the Belarusian economy with respect." "More than 300 US companies are working in various spheres of the Belarusian economy," he said.

The prime minister used the meeting to highlight Belarus' industrial development, noting that the Minsk Tractor Works controls a 12-percent share of the world tractor market. The Belarusian authorities are working hard to secure favorable conditions for new industrial enterprises, he noted.

"And, of course, we need new investments. I believe your interest is above all about investing in our economy," he said.

Speaking about foreign investments, Mr. Sidorski stressed that China had pledged to invest more than $15 billion in Belarus within the next two or three years.

The prime minister described Belarus' investment laws as one of the best in the world and promised that Minsk was ready to offer additional preferences to foreign investors for the "implementation of interesting projects."

Speaking at the meeting, David Baron of international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP expressed a high opinion of Belarus' investment regulations. He said that the delegation's meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Monday was evidence that time was ripe for the development of relations between Belarus and the United States.

The improvement of bilateral relations should lead to more US investments in the Belarusian economy and an increase in Belarus' exports to the United States, Mr. Baron said.