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Belarus' Economy Ministry initiates new business support measures

16.11.2020

MINSK, 16 November (BelTA) - The program of social and economic development of Belarus for 2021-2025 is expected to outline new measures to support business, Belarus' Economy Minister Aleksandr Chervyakov said in his address on the occasion of the World Entrepreneurship Week which is running on 16-22 November, BelTA has learned.

The private sector has been making a significant contribution to the development of Belarus for many years. It generates more than 50% of gross value added, about 60% of all revenue, more than 47% of the country's commodity exports, provides jobs for half of our citizens, Aleksandr Chervyakov noted.

The minister noted that the epidemiological situation in the world has changed the development plans of states. "The decline in economic activity is a reality of not only our country but also the whole world. The pandemic has brought many enterprises and sectors of the economy to the brink of survival, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Business management is now facing uncertainty in terms of the choice of investment destinations," he said.

According to Aleksandr Chervyakov, thanks to the decision taken by the head of state not to shut down the economy the country has been able to significantly mitigate the impact of the epidemic on enterprises and in general on the economy. “Its decline was smaller than in our major economic partners. Since July, the monthly GDP dynamics have been recovering. For four months the index added 0.7 percentage points and made up 98.9% in October,” Aleksandr Chervyakov said.

The growth rate is above the forecast in information technology, construction, and agriculture. The manufacturing industry is growing every month. The foreign trade surplus reached $1.5 billion. “Despite the artificially shocks in the financial market, the macro-economic balance remains in place. The economy will continue to recover and will approach the level of last year,” the minister believes.

The problems that arose amid the pandemic were actively discussed at the dialogue platforms between business and the government at the national and local levels. The joint proposals made the basis of a number of draft regulations and key documents. “We are sincerely grateful to the business community, especially in the regions, for their active stance and constructive exchange of views, social responsibility for the fate of their country,” said Aleksandr Chervyakov.

The work on the draft program of social and economic development for the five-year period has been underway for a year already. According to the minister, the aim of the document is to ensure social stability in society and overall economic growth. The document covers key economic issues.

The first one is to make the Belarusian jurisdiction more attractive for entrepreneurial activity, primarily through additional guarantees of protection of rights of bona fide business and investors, decriminalization of economic offences.

The second one is to introduce progressive tools such as regulatory impact assessment, public-private partnership, business self-regulation, guarantee and venture funds, and a “long money” institute through the development of the financial market.

The third one is to train managerial personnel for national economy. Plans are in place to train some 17,000 top and mid-level managers of commercial organizations of all forms of ownership in national business schools within 10 years.

The fourth one is to support and promote business in export development. For this purpose, the financial threshold for access to export support tools will be abolished, and their volumes will be increased both in terms of trade deals and participation of companies in exhibitions.

The fifth: under the head of state's order, proposals have been prepared to expand the rights and opportunities of economic entities in land relations.

The sixth: business development in the regions will be promoted by streamlined approaches to create preferential conditions depending on economic potential. The main principle is “the less potential is, the more incentives are”.

The seventh: the Economy Ministry envisages the transition to a full-fledged sectoral policy to create conditions for the development of enterprises of all forms of ownership in this type of activity, to develop the entire industry as a whole.

“These measures will be implemented in combination with efforts to improve the state support system and protective and stimulating measures for capital investment, commercialization of innovative solutions, comprehensive digitization, and creation of well-developed infrastructure in all Belarusian regions,” Aleksandr Chervyakov said.

According to him, the proposed measures will offer commercial enterprises new prospects, lay the basis for the reorganization of business and transition to those lines of business that demonstrate a stable operation during the pandemic, and offer opportunities for investment in modern enterprises.

The promising areas for business include electric transport, high-tech healthcare and pharmaceutics, biotechnology, precision agriculture, the smart city and smart plant projects, the industrial internet, new composite materials, and the use of big data.

“The growth of small private industrial companies will get a new impetus thanks to cooperation with our large enterprises for supplying components and development of subcontract relations with partners from the EAEU and the Union State,” the minister believes.

The program provides for stimulating mechanisms for setting up enterprises for advanced processing of local raw materials: wood, flax, peat, fruit, vegetables, berries, wild plants.

According to Aleksandr Chervyakov, this is not the entire list of proposals that could encourage a considerable long-term growth of the national economy.

“In addition, it should be mentioned that their implementation requires joint, harmonized efforts of businesses, the research community, the academia, active citizens, and officials of all levels. Only then will we be able to produce a powerful effect and achieve tangible results for the entire economy and prosperity of Belarusians,” the minister added.

Aleksandr Chervyakov thanked all Belarusian entrepreneurs who are proactive and creative, generate new ideas, put them into practice, create new products or services, and develop socially responsible business. The economy minister also congratulated them on the beginning of the World Entrepreneurship Week.

Written by belta.by

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