Belarus approves plan to cut red tape for businesses

Piotr Arushanyants, Director of the Entrepreneurship Department at the Belarusian Economy Ministry

On 23 November President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus signed an ordinance on entrepreneurship development, the key document in a package of regulations designed to improve the country's business climate, according to the BelTA news agency.

Piotr Arushanyants, Director of the Entrepreneurship Department at the Belarusian Economy Ministry, told BelTA that, “the ordinance is the result of the unprecedented collaboration between the government agencies and private sector.”

Arushanyants said the ordinance minimises the interference of government officials with the operation of commercial entities. “We are talking about the deregulation of the business environment and entrepreneurship. The document drastically simplifies fire safety requirements, hygiene, environmental, and veterinary requirements. Even quantifiable standards have been reduced 10-15 times,” he said, adding that the ordinance will also help business reduce costs. “The fewer the requirements to business are, the less they have to spend on administrative expenses. This will significantly reduce production costs. Other important principles enshrined in the document is a declarative business registration, business self-regulation, the focus of audit authorities on the prevention of offences,” he said.

Belarus hopes that the new regulations will to meet the government’s main target to increase the share of small and medium-sized businesses to 40% in the GDP before the end of 2020.

The EU4Business programme has set up a number of initiatives in Belarus to support enterprise and sustainable growth. EU funding, channelled through EU4Business, focuses on improving access to finance and foreign markets, building business skills and encouraging entrepreneurship.