More IFC support for innovation in Belarus

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Great Stone Industrial Park have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to boost technology innovations and bring in vital foreign investment to the Belarusian economy, supporting long-term economic growth and job creation.

The Great Stone Industrial Park is a roughly 112-square-kilometre special economic zone set up by the Belarussian and Chinese governments to spur investment, and research and development, in sectors including machine-building, biotechnology, telecommunications, fine chemicals production, and logistics.

Under the MOU, IFC and Great Stone will join forces to attract more strategic residents, co-host workshops on technology innovations and research and development, help technology start-ups find finance, and introduce residents to financing partners. IFC’s advisory team will also provide advice on improving the park’s business environment and investment policies to make it a key investment destination.

“We are confident that signing the memorandum with IFC will create more opportunities to attract strategic partners with promising projects for tomorrow’s world,” said Aleksander Yaroshenko, head of the administration of the Great Stone Industrial Park.

Jason Pellmar, IFC’s country manager for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, said, “IFC’s partnership with Great Stone is part of our strategy in Belarus to help develop a more diverse and robust private sector, and work with the government to boost private sector investments in the country.”

IFC is a significant international investor in Belarus’ private sector. It has so far invested over 270 million US dollars in long-term financing to support projects across a variety of sectors and provided over 470 million US dollars to Belarusian banks via its Global Trade Finance Programme.

The MOU is part of Belarus’ continued efforts to enhance economic integration. One of the platform for its development is Great Stone Industrial park as it is located about 25 kilometres from capital Minsk, a central point on the route between the European Union, Eurasian Economic Union, and China. A total of 39 companies from China, Belarus, Russia, the US, Germany, Austria, Lithuania and Israel are currently registered as residents in the park.