The Tactics of Specific Actions
In the next several years Belarusian SMES will contribute 50% to the nation’s GDP
As you know, the idea of the directive originated in the Belarusian business community, and our union was one of the first public entrepreneurial organizations who said that such a document was actually necessary. Why? The process of economic reforms did not go smoothly enough; as a matter of fact, it is still rather slow if we take a look at the speed of decision-making by mid-level officials. Liberalization affects the interests of a large number of officials, which is why any move to eliminate an administrative procedure is frowned upon and generally treated with suspicion.
Many officials used to say, “We’ll wait and see.” The pace of the entire liberalization effort was also uneven, as measures that were improving the business environment were often coupled with the measures that were in fact worsening it. The Belarusian Union of Entrepreneurs discussed and put forward many proposals on how to improve the business climate, but the implementation of these proposals was too slow,
as it is known, the year 2011 has been declared the Year of Business initiative in Belarus. the very first days of the year saw the enforcement of directive no. 4 “on the Encouragement of initiative and Stimulating Business activity in Belarus.” what are SMES going to do to capitalize on the new opportunities? what do they expect from government bodies and what are they going to offer back? how are they going to put directive no. 4 in practice? Economy of Belarus Magazine has approached the Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Entrepreneurs, alexander Kalinin, for the answers to these questions.
hence our genuine interest in Directive No. 4.
This document provides a really good framework for further improvements in business conditions in the country and will definitely contribute to the aspirations of Belarus to be listed among the thirty countries with the best business conditions, according to the World Bank’s rating.
The adoption of the directive was far from smooth either. As you remember, the President of Belarus was underscoring the importance of this document in his State of the Nation Address to the Belarusian People and the National Assembly back in April of 2010. But it was not until December 31 that the document was actually adopted, literally on New Year’s Eve. The directive does affect the interests of government officials, which is why it holds no allure for many. But the recent expansion of governmental institutions is becoming increasingly hard for the country to handle and the directive is aimed at optimizing this process and open new business growth opportunities.
Indeed, today you can hear some people complain that the document is not specific enough, rather vague. But we are optimists and are prepared to contribute towards the nation’s economic growth in the strategic areas. As recently as on 2 February 2011 the country’s leading entrepreneurial organizations, our included, sent a package of coordinated proposals to the Council of Ministers and the Presidential Administration, aimed at creating a barrier-free business environment. It is our hope that these proposals will be thoroughly studied and taken into consideration.
One of our primary proposals is to address price formation issues. Free entrepreneurship and competition start once these issues are duly sorted out. We proposed to draw up a new regulatory document relating to price formation in conformity with Directive No. 4. That was how Decree No. 72 of 25 February 2011 appeared. The