Belarus, EBRD set up investment council

MINSK, BELARUS - AUGUST 15, 2016: Aerial view of the southwestern part of the Minsk with Palace of Sport and old and new other buildings. Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus.

The Belarusian government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have signed an agreement with the aim of setting up a foreign investment council in the country, Belarusian state-run news agency Belta has learned.

“During the visit of EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti to Minsk, we suggested setting up a new agency. We got a feeling that Belarus was ready for it. We would like it to meet the best standards,” EBRD’s representative in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky said on June 10, adding that the council may include Belarusian government officials and members of the international business community.

Two additional memorandums of cooperation were signed for assisting the pre-privatisation of Belarusian company OAO Vitebskdrev and allocating 15.5 million euros for a clean water program in Vitebsk Oblast from the bank’s funds.

Speaking after a meeting with EBRD first vice president Jurgen Rigterink in London, Belarusian prime minister Sergey Rumas said that the bank might invest more into the country’s economy than the previously targeted 360 million euros.

“We have secured a solid headway into projects. I hope this year we will reach at least 350 million euros in various kinds of investment projects and projects to prepare companies for privatization,” Mr Rigterink said.

The EBRD has been present in Belarus since 1992 and has invested around 2.4 billion euros into the country nationwide.