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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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Conclusions and recommendations

Belarus has a lot to offer investors — a sizeable local market, privileged geographical location, developed transport infrastructure, skilled labour force and strong commitment to improving the investment climate. Entrepreneurs, domestic and foreign alike agree that the government's reforms since 2007 have clearly reduced the regulatory and administrative burden on business. The streamlining of business regulation processes, the abolishment of the Golden Share Rule, the simplification of the tax system for small and medium enterprises and the new incentives schemes to attract investment to the high technology sectors and the least developed areas of the country are illustrative of the scope of the reforms.

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