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Investment Policy Review - Republic of Belarus

image of Investment Policy Review - Republic of Belarus

After independence in 1991, Belarus chose to maintain a centrally-planned economy with limited forays into privatization. The foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction performance of Belarus was negatively affected. However, since 2007, the authorities have embarked upon a vast reform programme to ease the constraints on private sector development, reduce the role of the State in the economy and attract FDI. The investment policy review (IPR), carried out at the request of the Government, finds that the reforms are heading in the right direction to deliver a more transparent, predictable and competitive business environment — indispensable for attracting high-quality investors. As requested by the Belarusian authorities, the IPR also outlines the key elements of a strategy to support small and medium enterprise (SME) development through FDI.

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The role of FDI for SME development

The overall development objective of the Belarusian Government is to improve the standard of living of its population by effectively fostering and utilizing human capital, upgrading technology, encouraging structural changes and ultimately raising competitiveness. The aims and basic principles of this objective are stated in the Programme of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Belarus for 2006–2010. Innovation is a major element of the development of the productive sectors under this programme. In this regard, the policy recognizes the positive direct effect of SMEs on social and economic development and the need for an integrated system of reforms, including policies and measures related to taxation, credit, finance, prices, competition and infrastructure.

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