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16 Jul 2015

Belarusian Economy Ministry, IFC to work together to develop private sector

MINSK, 16 July (BelTA) – The Belarusian Economy Ministry and the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank Group, have signed an agreement to start working together for the sake of improving the business environment for small and medium enterprises (SME) and fostering the growth of private sector, BelTA has learned.

Experts of the World Bank Group’s consulting program for improving the investment climate in Belarus will provide consulting support to the Economy Ministry and other government agencies for the sake of reducing regulatory barriers and raising the competitive ability of enterprises, in particular, small and medium ones. Representatives of the state sector and the private sector will be involved in the work, including at the regional level, BelTA learned from Rufat Alimardanov, the IFC’s regional head for Belarus and Ukraine. In his words, the experts will focus on assisting with the development and implementation of reforms meant to support companies operating on the home market and companies willing to enter new markets.

In turn, Belarusian Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky stated that enabling favorable conditions for developing the private sector and raising the investment appeal of the economy has been and will be a key priority of the state economic policy. “We highly appreciate the consulting support of the International Finance Corporation that has helped many countries to simplify their regulations and create a policy conducive to foreign investments,” said the Minister.

The current program builds on the previous program, which was designed to improve business regulations and assist with attracting investments to the Republic of Belarus in 2010-2014. The program that ran in 2010-2014 helped create the single registry of administrative procedures in Belarus, reducing the total number of procedures for enterprises by 19% and the total number of licenses by 60%. The measures are estimated to allow Belarusian SMEs to save $14 million per annum.

Belarus became a member of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation in 1992. So far the IFC has invested over $577 million in 47 projects in various sectors of Belarus.

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