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Belarus' bill on investments passes first reading


The bill on amendments to the Law on Investments has passed the first reading at the fifth session of the seventh-convocation House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 30 April, BelTA has learned.

The bill is aimed at improving the provisions of the current Law on Investments taking into account the practice of its application as well as bringing its provisions into conformity with the legislative agreements of Belarus.

In particular, the draft law supplements the list of investment implementation methods with a reference to the implementation of public-private partnership projects. It enshrined a universal norm determining the conditions of compensation for the value of property which is an investment (in cases of nationalization or requisition of such property). This norm establishes requirements for compensation, which must be timely and complete.

“We introduce a ‘stabilization clause', which secures a guarantee against unfavorable changes in tax legislation for investors implementing investment projects in Belarus on the basis of an investment agreement,” said Galina Lagunova, Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Economic Policy of the House of Representatives.

The bill specifies provisions that regulate the settlement of disputes between an investor and the Republic of Belarus. It is suggested to increase the term of negotiating with the aim of settling a dispute between the parties from three to six months.

Restrictions are introduced with regard to filing claims against an investor arising in the course of making investments and resulting in violation of the investor's rights and legitimate interests, where such claims are not connected with illegal actions of the investor. It is stipulated that the respective claims may be filed within a period not exceeding three years from the date of occurrence of the circumstance with which such claims are related or arise. The relevant adjustments are aimed at providing additional guarantees of protection of investor's property rights, with the clarifying the wording of the provisions governing the establishment of restrictions on the implementation of investments.

“Legal regulation is one of the most important factors influencing the investment attractiveness of the country. Implementation of the proposed approaches will improve the investment climate and help attract investment to the economy of Belarus,” Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Yaroshevich said, introducing the bill in the Oval Hall.

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