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Gomel Oblast Economics

General Outline of Regional Economy

Gomel oblast is an attractive region for foreign investments as it has favourable geographical situation and mild climate, high scientific-industrial potential and well-developed agricultural industry.

The economic performance of the region has been growing in recent years owing to government support to traditional industries, foreign capital attraction and export development.

Gomel oblast, like the Republic of Belarus on the whole, is a stable socio-economic and political region. There are no economic, political or national conflicts.

People from various walks of life, various ethnicities, political and religious views live in peace and accord in the oblast. Equal constitutional rights to all citizens are guaranteed in the legislation. There are over 300 political organizations and parties in Gomel oblast. Local authorities ensure stable economic performance of the region by supporting main industries, municipal economy, medicine, education, etc.

Priority Areas of the Oblast Economic Development. Investment Proposals

Gomel oblast puts a special emphasis on science development, boosting export potential, foodstuffs production and housing construction. The oblast is interested in national as well as foreign investments. Foreign investments help to sustain the economic stir and improve living standards in the region as well as to maintain effective functioning of enterprises and internalization of the commodity market, capital and manpower.

The main spheres most attractive for investment are the following industries: fuel, chemical, petrochemical industries, non-ferrous metallurgy, radio electronics, diamond processing, machinery, metalworking, woodworking, pulp and paper industry, food industry.

The oblast agricultural production department welcomes international cooperation in production and processing of farm products. Construction enterprises are interested in the investments in production of construction materials.

Main Reasons to Invest in Gomel Oblast Economy

· social and economic stability, juridical security, state guarantees

· favourable climate and geographical position as the region is located on the junction of important international railways and motor ways

· a good track record in cooperation with foreign enterprises and firms

· highly qualified employees

· availability of resources necessary to develop the agricultural industry

· active administrational support of all productive investments, absence of all unjustified restrictions for foreign investments

Privatization

Denationalization and privatization of state-owned property is one of the most important prerequisites necessary to restructure the oblast economy and attract foreign investments. There are various approaches to the reformation such as converting of state-owned and leased enterprises into joint stock companies, sale of state-owned property by auction, etc.

Many enterprises have been recently transformed into joint stock companies. Joint stock companies provide working places to 177,000 people what accounts for 30.4% of the total employees in industry. Lately the oblast has reformed 59% of its agricultural enterprises, 54% of trade companies, 52% of industrial enterprises, 23% of enterprises of public catering and consumer services. This is what concerns the municipal property. As for the republican property, the reforms were carried out at 100% of enterprises of the Bellesbumprom concern, 50% of enterprises of the Bellegprom concern, 33% of enterprises of the ministry of housing and municipal services, 15% of enterprises of the ministry of transport and communications.

Public sales have been one of the main means of privatization in the region. Small-scale privatization was carried out, first of all, in the sphere of trade and services, small industrial and construction enterprises.

The Law “On Denationalization and Privatization” and other legislative acts stimulate foreign investments into privatization of enterprises, in particular those which need technical re-equipping.

Foreign investors can buy state-owned property sold by auction; have shares in joint stock companies. The Law “On Property” permits foreign investors to buy enterprises, facilities or other property in Belarus for business purposes.

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