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Belarusian People’s Congress

17 Jun 2016

Share of SMEs projected to reach 40% in Belarus by 2020

Share of SMEs projected to reach 40% in Belarus by 2020

MINSK, 17 June (BelTA) - The share of small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in the gross value added is projected to reach 40% by 2020, reads Belarus’ draft social and development program for 2016-2020, which is to be discussed at the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus is a country of equal opportunities. The role of the state is to create a favorable environment conducive to business in both the public and private sectors. Any enterprising person, regardless of level of education or economic knowledge, will be able to start a business in Belarus or find a job to his liking,” says the document.

The state shall ensure the protection and inviolability of private property rights, will remove barriers, and liberalize control activities. Plans have been made to expand the forms of state support of small and medium-sized businesses; to improve the fiscal and monetary policy; to enforce administrative liability (and criminal liability for repeated offence) for interference of law enforcement officials (supervisory bodies) into legal activities of business entities; to reduce drastically the list of financial sanctions for minor violations; simplify and reduce the number of types and forms of accounting; to develop a system to assess the impact of regulatory legal acts in the field of entrepreneurship; to reduce the number of licensed activities; and to introduce the institute of tax advisers for high-quality services.

The program provides for the adoption of stimulating measures for starting a business. For example, the newly created businesses in the countryside, towns and cities (except Minsk and regional centers) will be exempt of profit tax and tax on real estate within two years. The state shall support the expansion of innovative infrastructure of small and medium-sized businesses in the regions (techno parks, venture capital organizations, support centers, small business incubators).

There are plans to develop a package of basic free-of-charge services for business; promote online administrative procedures from filling an application to an electronic document. The procedure of providing idle state property for business and creation of new jobs will be streamlined.

Instruments of economic regulation will be aimed at encouraging fair competition and prevention of monopolism. Direct regulation of prices and tariffs will be preserved only for the services provided by the key players on the commodity markets, natural monopolies, and also separate groups of goods (fuel, electric and heating energy). An anti-monopoly body will be set up at the Trade Ministry to secure equal competitive business environment.

The implementation of the abovementioned measures will help develop a full-fledged competitive climate, secure common doing business rules. The efforts will help small and medium-sized enterprises increase their share in the total gross value added volume from 28.7% in 2014 to 40% in 2020.

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