Belarus has raised more than $140 million in direct investment from Finland over the past five years, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Finland and concurrently to the Kingdom of Denmark Alexander Ostrovsky said.
Finland is among top 20 investors of Belarus. Last year alone, the volume of investments amounted to $12.5 million, of which $3.7 million came on a net basis. There are 29 companies with the share of the Finnish capital in Belarus. The largest joint projects that have been implemented already include the reconstruction and modernization of OAO Lidskoye Pivo brewery, the construction of the OMA hypermarkets, the acquisition of shares and the upgrade of the Gomel ice cream factory by the Ingman company.
“Without questioning the importance of trade, I would like to note that for Belarus and Finland, that both have export-oriented economies, it is very important to build up financial and investment cooperation in order to develop the manufacturing facilities with the use of innovative technologies,” Ambassador Alexander Ostrovsky said.
When speaking about the prospects for development of bilateral cooperation, the diplomat mentioned the first ever visit of Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkanen to Belarus in April. During the talks in Minsk, the parties discussed the possibility of implementing major investment projects, using the experience of Finland as one of the world’s trendsetters in energy- and resource-saving, clean technologies. Among the promising avenues of cooperation the parties identified biotechnology, forest management, timber processing, biofuel, agriculture, engineering, innovation, and IT.
Belarus’ exports to Finland include 65 commodity items. Last year the trade totaled $101.2 million, with the export of services reaching $20.5 million. Belarus had a trade surplus of $13.1 million. The export of transport and tourism services increased significantly.
“The Finnish consumers, the same as in any other region of the northern countries, are highly patriotic when it comes to products. They prefer national goods and are even ready to pay more. In this respect, Belarus’ exports are mainly the products for Finnish industrial companies (transmission gear, devices, metalwork) and ready-made goods (fittings, steel wire, mink fur) which are used in the further production cycle,” Ambassador Alexander Ostrovsky said.
Belarus mainly imports Finnish food products (fresh, chilled and frozen fish), paper, carton, cranes and loaders, agricultural, gardening and forestry equipment, transformers, and others. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)
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