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15 Mar 2017

New chapter in Belarus-OECD cooperation opened

MINSK, 15 March (BelTA) – A project for improving professional skills of small and medium businesses with entrepreneurship support services was presented in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

William Tompson, Head of the Eurasia Department of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), remarked that the presentation opened a new chapter in Belarus-OECD cooperation. In 2016 experts worked hard to study problems and capabilities of the private sector of the Belarusian economy in order to come up with recommendations.

William Tompson said it was the first time such a large-scale survey of the situation had been conducted over the period of 20 years. “At present the role of the private sector in forming the GDP and providing jobs for Belarusians is small — about 28% and 30% respectively according to our calculations, which is considerably less than in countries of the European Union. The presented roadmap of reforms should help bolster the competitive ability of the private sector and the national economy as a whole. We welcome the steps the government has been taking in the last few years to liberalize, support private initiatives, diversify export and economic activities,” said William Tompson.

Piotr Arushanyants, Director of the Entrepreneurship Department of the Belarusian Economy Ministry, underlined the importance of cooperation with international agencies in enabling favorable terms for doing business. The project for improving professional skills of small and medium businesses with entrepreneurship support services will be implemented for three years. It is primarily aimed at improving professional skills of businessmen. A considerable part of the proposals the OECD experts have submitted is now reflected in the government program on small and medium entrepreneurship in the Republic of Belarus in 2016-2020.

Piotr Arushanyants said: “It is important for commercial entities to get qualified legal aid and assistance with bookkeeping early on. One of the main tasks is improving the quality of the services provided by entrepreneurship support organizations and business incubators. On the whole, the presented document is a comprehensive one and includes nine directions.”

Belarusian Labor and Social Protection Minister Irina Kostevich, who oversaw cooperation with the OECD in her previous position as a deputy economy minister, drew attention to a set of employment-relating measures. She also emphasized the need to continue the practice of examining enterprises and evaluating needs of the business community.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of economically developed nations, which recognize principles of representative democracy and free market economy. The OECD is a forum where governments of the member states can discuss, work out and coordinate economic and social policies. The OECD is intent on promoting policies aimed at economic growth and social wellbeing of people all over the world. The OECD maintains active partnering relations with over 70 non-member countries, including Belarus. In 2008 the OECD launched a program to bolster the competitive ability of Eurasian countries. The program is supposed to facilitate accelerated reformation of the economies and improvement of the business climate with a view to ensuring stable economic development and employment levels in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

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