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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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FDI trends and performance

Over the last decade, Belarus has experienced an unprecedented period of growth while maintaining an economic model based on state planning and state enterprises. The continued sustainability of this growth is increasingly being challenged by the effects of the global economic crisis of 2008-2009 and the comparative rise in energy prices due to the gradual elimination of subsidies and their eventual alignment to world market prices. FDI inflows have traditionally been very low, discouraged by frequent policy changes and an ambiguous policy stance towards private sector development.

English

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