The USA is the leading foreign investor in the Minsk free economic zone, which is one of the largest of its kind in Belarus. This was announced at a press conference in Minsk on Wednesday February 19 by Head of the Minsk Free Economic Zone Nikolai Tsedrik.
He said that the USA accounts for 23% of total foreign investments while Great Britain accounts for 13%, the Netherlands and Russia both account for 12% and Latvia 11%. There are 18 countries investing in Minsk in total.
However, investors are not in a hurry to invest money in the zone, they said at the press conference. Investors insist on obtaining further guarantees from the Belarus government. Despite the tax privileges, there is still no stable investment climate and there is a limited amount of land in the zone and this is restricting the inflow of capital. In 2002 foreign investments in the Minsk zone totalled USD 19.4 million.
The Minsk administration intends to raise the level of foreign investment dramatically in 2003. Mr Tsedrik said that there are plans to attract USD 103 million in foreign investments in 2003. The economic and social development of the Minsk region is the current priority for ensuring the development of the Minsk free economic zone.