Updated at 20:11,29-10-2020

Belarus wants to receive 1 bln USD in investments annually

Stanislau Ivashkevich, belsat.eu

Belarus wants to receive 1 bln USD in investments annually
Belarus hopes to receive a billion dollars of investment loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development annually. Representatives of the EBRD have arrived in Belarus for talks. But will the big loans propel our economy? Or will they push Belarus and therefore each of us into debt?

A billion dollars is 2% of the Belarusian economy. That’s the amount of investments and loans that the official Minsk is planning to attract each year from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Last year, the agency has invested in Belarus 167 million dollars. This compares with an estimated cost of reconstruction of Minsk “Dynamo” stadium. This amount was distributed between 14 projects. The largest of them was the pre-privatization stage of “Belinvestbank”. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development lent it $ 50 million with the possibility to convert them into shares for resale to the strategic investor.

Other projects of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Belarus in the past year included the loans of the “Moscow – Minsk” bank and “Raiffeisen Bank” for development of small and export-oriented business. In addition, direct funding was allocated to the Belarusian company “Clean Coast” to open a series of stores with sanitary equipment. Another project — the Lithuanian chain of “DIY” stores in Belarus. In the other segment was an investment in the wood processing — the Lithuanian company “SVUDS”, which supplies materials for the manufacture of “Ikea”furniture. Ten more million of USD were allocated to another Lithuanian firm ‘KG-group,’ which is expanding its production of animal feed in Belarus.

This year, the portfolio of the European Bank projects continued to expand. Loans were given for the development of the Belarusian private “Apteka-Group” chain for the opening of the 160 pharmacies that sell pharmaceuticals at discounted prices. Lithuanian “Modus Group” received 15 million dollars for the construction of the four plants producing energy from biogas, which means without waste, in the Hrodna and Brest regions. Loan for more than 40 million dollars will go to the completion of the second Minsk ring road. The official representative of the EBRD told “Belsat” that they hope to further expand projects in our country. However, the official representative of EBRD would not comment on the annual loans of half a billion to a billion dollars named by the Belarusian authorities.

The sharp expansion of the EBRD’s activities in Belarus became possible in 2016, the year when the strategy of the institution’s operation in our country changed. Previously, it included only the cooperation with the private sector. Now they started a joint project with the State.

The major projects of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the construction of the “Stadler’ Swiss trains production and two wood processing factories of the Austrian company “Kronospan”.