25 February 2021, Thursday, 5:23
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Barys Zheliba: Investments Are Lukashenka's Achilles' Heel

Barys Zheliba: Investments Are Lukashenka's Achilles' Heel

Investors won't come to a country with such political risks.

In his commentary to udf.by, Barys Zheliba, Doctor of Economics, noted that investment is "the weak spot of our economy".

"One can say, it's Achilles' heel. Investment from our own sources is not enough. It is impossible to attract foreign direct investment. All investment plans in recent years have been a failure recently. The government's plans have been modest for this reason," Zheliba said.

The economist adds:

"Moreover, analysis shows that 80% of foreign investments on paper are so-called reinvested profits. Those companies that have been working here for a long time continue to invest their profits into modernization and expansion of production. But there are no or almost no new investors.

One more important point which Belarus misses is that investments bring not only foreign currency but also modern technologies. Projects with the Chinese are unsuccessful.

"Unfortunately, the recent well-known events in Belarus do not contribute to investment growth. On the contrary, foreign investors will not come to a country with such political risks. There is only way out - to hold new free elections of the president and other authorities," Zheliba believes.

As for the budget deficit, he says the Finance Ministry will find the money.

"It's not known where and how. It's questionable whether foreign or domestic investors will buy bonds. Perhaps, one sphere may face cuts in financing. I'm afraid it may affect the state's social obligations. Probably, the power block and officials will suffer from it less", Zheliba believes.