Belarus’ programme of reforms to encourage more home-grown entrepreneurial activity and attract high calibre foreign investment has been very effective.
Belarus was named as the world’s fourth best business reformer in the World Bank’s 2010 Doing Business Report. The country made significant progress and was ranked 58th overall, a meaningful leap from 85th position in 2009. This places the country above other leading economies, for example, Spain (62), Poland (72), China (89) and puts Belarus on track to fulfil its ambition of joining the top 30 by 2011.
One of the government’s most significant acts was the abolition of the so-called ‘Golden Share’ which allowed the state to intervene in privatised businesses, while the six Free Economic Zones (FEZ) and High Technologies Park offer significant tax incentives for businesses to invest. It is now possible to register a new business in a single day thanks to a ‘one-stop-shop’ process.
The determination to push through reforms, allied to a diverse privatisation programme, means Belarus has a great deal to offer to investors keen to become pioneers in a new and rapidly growing market on the EU’s doorstep.