Belarus invites the Qatar Investment Authority to enter the country’s banking sector and participate in the privatization programs, Belarus’ Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said at the meeting with CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani on 2 December.
Andrei Kobyakov said that Belarus views Qatar as a promising partner for developing mutually beneficial cooperation. Dynamic bilateral contacts and, first of all, the high-level visit to Qatar a month ago testify to the fact. “Belarus and Qatar have been steadily developing and strengthening their relations. Many joint projects have been recently implemented,” the PM stressed. The biggest joint project carried our so far was the construction of the Marriott Hotel with the participation of the Investment Fund of the Qatar Armed Forces. Nearly $200 million was invested in the project.
According to the Belarusian head of government, bilateral cooperation may be further stepped up by Qatari capital entering the banking sector of Belarus. “We are working hard to attract strategic investors for two Belarusian banks: Belarusbank and Bank Moscow-Minsk. We are ready to discuss any possible formats of cooperation with your agency,” said Andrei Kobyakov.
Other mutually beneficial forms of cooperation with the Belarusian financial institutes are also possible, including the acquisition of the Belarusian government securities. In 2017 Belarus plans to float $800 million worth of eurobonds.
Andrei Kobyakov invited the Qatar Investment Authority to take part in setting up new manufacturing facilities or investing in the existing ones. “We are ready to consider the possibility of the Qatar Investment Authority buying a stake in big Belarusian organizations. We can also offer to take part in partial or full privatization of companies in such industries as woodworking, building materials and mechanical engineering. The companies have been recently upgraded,” the Prime Minister added.
The setting up of the Belarusian-Qatari investment fund, similar to the Qatari-Russian fund, can contribute to the implementation of more mutually beneficial joint projects. The Development Bank of Belarus and the Qatar Investment Authority are ready to implement the idea.
The Prime Minister said that Belarus provides favorable doing business conditions. The country is politically and socially stable, has a low corruption rate and a well-developed infrastructure. The country offers different preferential regimes.
“Out of the Persian Gulf countries, Qatar is the biggest investor in Belarus. We are grateful for this and hope that we will be able to expand our cooperation. I am confident that your visit will lay a foundation for long-term and mutually beneficial interaction between Belarus and the Qatar Investment Authority,” Andrei Kobyakov said.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani thanked for the opportunity to hold talks and stressed that the Qatar Investment Authority plans to develop active cooperation with Belarus and implement joint projects.