MOSCOW, 1 December (BelTA) – The business forum “Great Stone Industrial Park: Best Opportunities for Investment and Cooperation in the EAEU” took place in the Business and Cultural Complex of the Belarusian Embassy in Moscow on 1 December. The event brought together ambassadors and senior diplomats from almost 30 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as some European countries, BelTA has learned.
Opening the forum, Minister Counselor of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia Pavel Lyogky noted that the diplomatic mission already hosted this event several times before. In 2019 and 2020, the Great Stone successfully presented its investment and cooperation opportunities for potential partners in Moscow.
According to the diplomat, Belarus has developed a comprehensive system of support and preferences for investors. The China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone occupies a huge area of 112.5 square kilometers, it is a city within a city. The park is located 25 km from Minsk in close proximity to the international airport, railways, and a highway. The Great Stone was granted a special legal regime for doing business,” he said.
According to the minister counselor, any company regardless of the country of origin of the capital can launch operations in the industrial park. “Being fully aware of the fierce competition for investors on the world market, the government has created a favorable investment climate for resident companies. This preferential treatment was formalized by national regulations and special international agreements and obligations and provides for unprecedented benefits. The preferential regime of the park is valid until 2062,” he said.
In June 2021, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed Decree No. 215 to improve the investment climate in the Great Stone park. Thus, the document provides for additional preferences for large projects with investment of $50 million or more: an increased grace period for income tax, relaxed customs procedures, reduced price for land plots (by 25%) when they are acquired into private ownership.
“This is an unprecedented preferential regime for business,” Pavel Lyogky noted. “We know that some countries are cautious to invest in Belarus due to the small size of the Belarusian market as the population of Belarus is 9.3 million. However, the following geopolitical realities should be taken into account here. As you know, on 4 November, the presidents of Belarus and Russia signed documents that will become a practical framework for advancing the integration in the Union State. These are 28 Union State programs in various sectors of the economy that aim to gradually remove all existing barriers to access the markets and to ensure equal rights for business entities of our countries. Thus, closer Belarus-Russia integration guarantees access not only to the Belarusian market but also to the vast Russian market. I will add that goods produced in Belarus will also have free access to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union with 183 million consumers."
"Thus, the Great Stone provides the best conditions for entering the markets of Russia, the EAEU and Eastern Europe," Pavel Lyogky concluded.
Head of the Administration of the Great Stone Park Aleksandr Yaroshenko told the media that competition for investment should never stop, even amid the current difficult conditions. “We have to be attractive for investors who come to Belarus and who come to the Great Stone park. A total of 83 resident companies from 15 countries have already joined this project, and we are doing our best to create the most favorable conditions for business,” he said.
Aleksandr Yaroshenko is convinced that doing business in the park is very profitable for investors. “Firstly, we have great infrastructure and an investor can come and immediately start implementing projects. We provide industrial complexes where small and medium-sized businesses can place their equipment and launch their production right away. Tax and other preferential policies are among the best in Eurasia, the entire post-Soviet space and the Eastern European region,” the head of the industrial park administration said.
“Of course, we should keep in mind that the support of the leaders of the two countries – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Chinese President Xi Jinping - of this project is worth a lot. This year the fourth decree of the Belarusian head of state was adopted to further develop our project. This added new legislative initiatives that let us, among other things, provide more comfortable conditions for business in healthcare, which is very important amid the ongoing pandemic,” said Aleksandr Yaroshenko.