18 March 2019
Belarus to set up united business promotion authority
Belarus is working to set up a united business promotion organization, Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Matusevich told the STV channel, BelTA has learned.
“Work is underway to draft a regulatory act to establish a united specialized business promotion organization that will be backed by existing business promotion centers while operating in the regions,” Dmitry Matusevich said.
Apart from that, regions and the Economy Ministry run public advisory boards and entrepreneurship promotion councils. “We have come to the conclusion that such boards should not be replicated at the local level. We are going to build a functioning hierarchy that will provide as much support as possible. The quality of services will be monitored,” the deputy minister noted. In other words, if a regional business promotion authority underperforms, it will first get a warning from the Economy Ministry’s council; if this does not help, this business promotion authority will be eliminated.
Some changes might apply to the Belarusian Fund for Financial Support to Entrepreneurs. “We are to set up a specialized organization, so the fund might join the National Agency of Investment and Privatization structurally and organizationally. We will discuss this concept in April. By the middle of the year we will put forward specific proposals in the form of a regulatory act,” Dmitry Matusevich concluded.
The work on improving Belarus’ business environment is in progress. The government is now drafting a licensing bill that will be a follow-up to Decree No.7. The new bill will scrap another 15,000 licenses and streamline about 14 types of licensable activities. The bill on administrative procedures was sent to the president for scrutiny. “We believe that this will help lay a foundation for digitalization and further optimization of procedures,” he said.
The increase in tax proceeds is attributed to the scaling up of SMEs. The tax proceeds have already exceeded a third of payments to the budget. SMEs account for over half of Belarus’ export of products and nearly 40% of export of services. The increasing amount of investment loans issued by banks for SMEs is another factor contributing to the growth in small and medium-sized enterprises.