Legal Regulation of Investment Activities in Belarus. Benefits and Preferences.
Belarus has created an effective legal framework for the investment business underpinned by international treaties and the national legislation.
The Republic of Belarus is a party to the Investor Rights Convention (28 March 1997), Investment Co-operation Agreement (24 December 1993); in 1992 Belarus joined the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (18 March 1965) and the Convention Establishing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (11 October 1985, Seoul).
In addition, Belarus is a party to a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements offering the most-favored-investor treatment and (or) introducing a set of national investment rules that secure investors’ rights at the international level. Today Belarus is a party to nearly 50 treaties on the promotion and mutual protection of investment; these treaties offer additional safety guarantees for investments from the European Union, the CIS member states, countries of Asia, Latin America and others.
At the national level, the investment practices are regulated by The Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Investments”. The purpose of this document is to encourage investment activities in the country and provide legal safeguards for investors.
The State provides an investor with the following guarantees:
- the right to private property and other proprietary and non-proprietary rights;
- the equality of rights and the equal nondiscriminatory protection of the rights and legitimate interests of an investor;
- the stability of the rights to perform investment activities and terminate them;
- the right to an independent choice of action and the performance of actions related to the ownership, use and disposal of the objects and results of investment activity, including independent disposal of the revenues (profits) and free transfer of profits abroad;
- compensation of the market value of the invested property and recovery of other loss suffered by an investor as a result of nationalization or requisition allowed only in exceptional cases;
- The recovery of the losses and the damage caused to an investor as a result of the actions (or lack thereof) of government officials.
In addition to securing investor’s rights, the State has created a system of incentives to encourage investment activity in the country.
The legal regimes offering preferential investment treatment:
Free economic zones (FEZ)
High-Tech Park (HTP)
Small towns (urban centers with a population less than 50,000)
Rural population centers