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Belarus should develop set of measures to attract foreign investments in its tourism sector

Belarus should develop a set of measures to attract foreign investments in its tourism sector, Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said on December 11 at a session of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers highlighting the course of implementing the national tourism development programme of the Republic of Belarus for 2006-2010 and a draft analogous programme for 2008-2010.

According to the head of government, Belarus should formulate a clear plan of development of the travel industry “in order to attract investors from big European companies”. “Belarus should enter into direct negotiations with concrete investors involved in creating a travel infrastructure. We should invite world famous hotel brands to work in our market,” Sergei Sidorsky underlined.

The Prime Minister stressed the need to lay down strict rules of the game in order to promote travel and hotel businesses. “Then we will be able to offer such investors operating conditions more preferential than in the neighbouring countries,” Sergei Sidorsky underlined.

The measures aimed at attracting foreign investors in the construction of the world famous hotels in Belarus should include a system of preferences, simplified procedures of land allocation and others. Potential investors should know that conditions of running this business in Belarus “are better than in a neighbouring state,” the Belarusian PM noted. “Then these will be real steps towards capital raising,” he stressed.

The head of government criticised the Minsk authorities for the lack of hotels on the list of facilities, which should be built in Minsk in the near future.

According to Sergei Sidorsky, the programme on tourism development will help Belarus earn up to $1 billion by 2010. At the same time few roadside facilities (only 116) are expected to be opened in line with the programme. “For example, the same number of facilities is located along only one highway in Lithuania. That is why the government should draw up a document on wider development of the network of roadside services,” Sergei Sidorsky said.

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