Investment. Safety, protection
International companies actively open R&D divisions in Minsk and buy local companies; Western and Russian funds invest in Belarusian startups.
According to the Belarusian legislation, investments are any property and other objects of civil rights belonging to the investor by right of ownership or on a different legal basis and invested by them in the territory of Belarus in the legally envisaged ways to make a profit, particularly:
- movable and immovable property, including stock, shares in the authorized capital, shares in the property of a commercial organization established in Belarus, money—including raised capital such as loans;
- receivables with their estimated value;
- other objects of civil rights with their estimated value.
Investing in Belarus is carried out through the following activities:
- creation of a commercial organization;
- acquisition, creation—including by construction—of real estate;
- acquiring the rights to intellectual property items;
- acquisition of stock, shares in the authorized capital, shares in the property of a commercial organization, including increasing the commercial organization’s authorized capital;
- on concession basis;
- other ways.
Certain investment activities, such as creating a company in Belarus or acquiring shares in a Belarusian company’s authorized capital, may be subject to the country’s antitrust regulation requirements. In certain legally stipulated cases, investment via such methods either requires the antitrust authority’s permission or benefits from notification-based procedure to go ahead.
The legislation guarantees the following to investors in Belarus:
- non-interference in private affairs, except when such interference is based on Belarus legislation concerning national security interests (including protecting the environment, historical and cultural values), public order, protection of morality, public health, other persons’ rights and freedoms;
- protection of rights and legitimate interests in court and through other legally envisaged remedies, including within the framework of international treaties Belarus is a party to;
- unhindered transfer abroad of profits (income) and other legitimately earned moneys related to investment activities in the territory of Belarus, as well as payments made in favor of a foreign investor and for investment-related matters, after payment of taxes, levies (duties) and other mandatory payments established by the legislation of Belarus;
- timely and full compensation of the value of the nationalized property and other losses caused by nationalization; at the same time, nationalization is only possible for reasons of public necessity.
Belarus recognizes the primacy of international law; that is, if an international treaty ratified by Belarus establishes rules other than those provided for by domestic law, the prior shall apply.
Belarus is a party to international investment treaties:
- The Agreement on Cooperation in the Sphere of Investment Activity was signed in Ashgabat on December 24, 1993.
- The Convention on Protection of the Rights of the Investor: Moscow, March 28, 1997.
- Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments in the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Community: Moscow, December 12, 2008.
Belarus has entered into agreements on the promotion and mutual protection of investments with 50+ countries, which also envisage certain rights and guarantees for investors in Belarus.
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