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Skilled workforce, large industrial potential inherited from the Soviet Union and improving regulatory framework are what the Republic of Belarus has to offer foreign investors. Being a founding member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the country serves not only as a gateway to Russia but also to the whole regional market with more than 180 million consumers.

HUMAN POTENTIAL — People, especially Belarusian IT specialists, are one of the country’s numerous assets. According to the European Commission, there are about 400,000 students currently enrolled at Belarus’s 54 higher education institutions each year, an impressive number bearing in mind the country’s relatively small population of about 10 million. Currently, Belarusians earn roughly the same as Bulgarians and Romanians — almost BYR 7 million (€386) across the country and close to BYR 9 million (€528) in Minsk.

INFRASTRUCTURE — In 2014, Minsk International Airport served nearly 2.6 million passengers, 19 per cent more than in 2013. Belarus also has a growing and improving road network and is located at the crossroads of major pan-European transport corridors West-East and North-South.

BUSINESS — In 2014 there were about 114 200 SMEs, more than twice as many as in 2007. Also, the number number of registered companies with foreign capital doubled to reach 7,000 in 2015. Even though a lot of challenges are still to be overcome, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, in recent years Belarus has been one of the most active reformers determined to create favourable legislation for foreign investors. All the amendments aimed at improving investment climate lifted the country up to the 57th position in 2015 edition of the Doing Business Index, ahead of other founding members of EAEU and a few EU members.

FDI & EXPORT — Between 2011 and 2014, Belarus attracted foreign direct investment worth almost €8.2 billion. The main investors are Russia (28.3 per cent), Cyprus (20.5 per cent), the Netherlands (7.6 per cent), Lithuania (6.5 per cent), Switzerland (6.3 per cent), the UK (5.1 per cent), China (4.1 per cent), Germany, Poland and the US (about 2 per cent each). In 2014, Belarus exported goods and services worth €32 billion compared to €40 billion in 2012. At the same time import figures for 2014 fell by 12 per cent from €40.7 billion in 2012.

ECONOMY — After a few years of economic slowdown resulting from the global economic crisis of 2008, since early 2013 signs of regaining macroeconomic stability has been recorded. The World Bank expects the economy to grow by 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively. In 2014, the country’s GDP per capita amounted to €7,180.

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