Dear clients and cooperation partners,
We are glad to inform you in our current Belarusian News edition about newly established Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce where SORAINEN is initiator and the founding member. Further in the Belarusian News you will find valuable summary regarding five notable industrial enterprises for which privatisation auctions are announced. We will keep informing you about privatisation opportunities also in the future Belarusian News. Additionally, the Procedure for negotiating investment agreements in Belarus is expedited. Please contact us if you are interested in the opportunities described below. We would be happy to help you explore them.
Official Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce established
The Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, non-political association of business executives interested in: facilitating trade between Finland and Belarus; increasing Finnish investments in Belarus; developing relationships with suitable business partners locally and internationally. Members of the Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce include businesses and individuals conducting business in or trade with Belarus. The Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce offers added value to members in the following aspects:
- Information: Information about business opportunities and trade is distributed through the monthly newsletter (ten issues yearly). The newsletter covers current events in Belarus in a user-friendly format.
- Participation: The Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce offers information about trade and business opportunities through seminars and informal meetings. Additionally, the Chamber facilitates networking with decision-makers.
- Networking: As a member you will have the opportunity to increase your social network with official and local players. Moreover, membership gives you a certain level of authority and official status.
- Influence: Together with other players you can influence regulations and legislation crucial for your business. By cooperating with other chambers of commerce, the Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce does have the capability to affect legislative environment.
The chairman of the board of the Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce is Mr Juha Hämäläinen, who has vast experience in working with parties operating in the Belarusian and Baltic markets. For more information, please visit the official web site of the Finnish Belarusian Chamber of Commerce.
Belarusian Government announces auctions for five notable industrial enterprises
The Belarusian State Property Committee (the national privatisation authority) has scheduled privatisation auctions in August - September 2010 for five industrial enterprises that are leaders in their industries:
||Enterprise name, location
||Number of employees
||Initial auction price, equivalent in EUR million
||Privatisation terms and conditions
||Bobruisk Machinery Construction Plant Open Joint Stock Company (Bobruisk, Mogilev oblast)
||Production of hydraulic presses, iron and steel casting, repair of pumps and compressors
||Within 1 year after sale of shares the investor should contribute EUR 4 million to the company’s authorized capital, preserve number of employees for 2 years
||Volmet Open Joint Stock Company (Volkovysk, Grodno oblast)
||Production and sale of hardware and locks
||Within 2 years after sale of shares the investor should invest a further EUR 0.5 million.
||Barkhim Open Joint Stock Company (Baranovichi, Brest oblast)
||Production of soap, washing and cleaning detergents, and polishes
||Within 2 years the investor should create new synthetic washing detergent manufacturing facilities (capacity not less than 20 thousand tons), preserve the enterprise profile and number of employees for 5 years.
||Rechitsa Textile Open Joint Stock Company (Rechitsa, Gomel oblast)
||Production of and wholesale trade in textile goods
||Within 2 years the investor must inject a minimum EUR 4 million into the company @ 5% p. a. as a 10 year loan, and preserve the enterprise profile, number of employees, plus maintain social infrastructure for 5 years.
||Lida Foundry and Mechanics Plant Open Joint Stock Company (Lida, Grodno oblast)
||Iron, light and other precious metal casting, recycling metal waste and scrap
||Within 2 years the investor should invest a further USD 1 million (approx EUR 0.83 million), and preserve the enterprise profile and number of employees for 2 years.
The privatisation auction is on the largest scale since the early 2000’s, when the Belarusian Government unsuccessfully attempted sale of the largest petrochemical enterprises. Notably, for the first time the government has engaged investment agents in preparation for the auctions, including Ernst & Young, KPMG and UNITER (a leading Belarusian investment bank).
The State Property Committee adds that in the near future a further 30 companies will be put up for auction, again with assistance from investment agents.
Procedure expedited for negotiating investment agreements in Belarus
On 9 April 2010, the Belarus Council of Ministers adopted resolution No 538 regarding processing investor offers on concluding investment agreements with the Republic of Belarus.
Under this legal act, responsible government bodies must conduct negotiations with the investor within three days after receiving the investor’s offer to conclude an investment agreement. The minutes of the meeting must be sent to the Ministry of Economy within two days after negotiations and should contain undertakings by the investor and respective government body related to the investment project, deadlines for review of the offer (one month maximum) and information about responsible persons on both sides.
The same legal act also introduces personal responsibility of heads of respective government bodies for violating deadlines set in the meeting minutes. Four vice prime ministers are assigned to supervise the procedures in different branches of the economy.
Investment agreements are concluded between the investor and the Republic of Belarus in relation to two types of investment project:
- creation and development of new enterprises with strategic importance for the Belarusian economy; and
- acquisition of state property (privatisation).
Investment agreements can provide certain privileges:
- exemption from taxes and customs duties;
- direct allocation of land plots; and
- eased construction regulations.