Исследовательский Центр ИПМ
Kasrtyčnicki Ekanamičny Forum

Progress in Business Climate Improvement in Belarus through the Prism of Surveys of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Improvement of a business climate and support of an entrepreneurship were not only declared as a national economic priority, but formulated as objectives in the Government's program documents. However, despite a significant improvement in ease of doing business ranking and adopted legislative measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises, their role in the country’s economy has practically not changed in the recent years.

The package of regulations elaborated by the Government in 2017 and designed to further liberalize business climate and stimulate entrepreneurial activity is aimed at removing a number of barriers that have negative impact on business. However, it should be note that the effectiveness of the envisaged measures will largely depend on implementation of regulatory changes and unambiguousness of normative acts’ interpretation. The SMEs surveys also showed that there was a rise in the number of respondents who noted increased negative impact on their enterprises of excessive state regulation, and in addition barriers related to poorly functioning institutions and restricting competition. The last two types of barriers are not tackled by the package of normative acts on encouraging business. Therefore, ensuring equal competitive conditions for enterprises, irrespective of the form of ownership, and establishment of well-functioning legal environment should be the subject of special attention of the Government in order to improve the business climate and stimulate the development of SMEs.

The Commentary is based on policy discussian paper by Irina Tochitskaya, and Gleb Shymanovich "New legal acts package on encouraging private sector development vs needs of Belarusian business: Results of the small and medium enterprises surveys". The publication is prepared under the support of the British Embassy in Minsk.