Small Busi­ness Makes it Big

Be­larus wants to give lo­cal au­thor­i­ties more lever­age to sup­port busi­ness­men

Economy of Belarus - - STATE AND PRIVATE BUSINESS - Nadezhda RADI­VON, Econ­omy of Be­larus Mag­a­zine

Busi­ness Gets Green Light

In many coun­tries en­trepreneur­ship is the driv­ing force be­hind eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity. Be­larus’ econ­omy is dom­i­nated by state sec­tor. How­ever, busi­ness is com­ing to play a greater role in the coun­try’s so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. It is no sur­prise, as small com­pa­nies are more mo­bile and adapt­able to the chang­ing mar­ket environment, with a great po­ten­tial to sub­sti­tute imports and ex­port prod­ucts and ser­vices. Pri­vate busi­ness can help ad­dress em­ploy­ment is­sues in small towns and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. There­fore, busi­ness pro­mo­tion is among the ma­jor tasks for the re­gions, in­clud­ing Minsk Oblast.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent data, Minsk Oblast is home to over 58,000 busi­ness en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing about 23,800 le­gal en­ti­ties and 34,400 self-em­ployed busi­ness­men. The bulk of them are lo­cated in Minsk District (21%), Borisov District (12.3%) and Molodechno District (11.2%). The num­ber of pri­vate com­pa­nies keeps grow­ing in the re­gion. In 2011 alone, 1,500 new com­pa­nies were reg­is­tered. Tax rev­enues from the busi­ness sec­tor are in­creas­ing, too. In Jan­uary-septem­ber this year, SMES paid over Br1.2 tril­lion to the bud­get of Minsk Oblast, one third of all the rev­enues. In 2010, small and medium-sized busi­ness ac­counted for 22.4% of the re­gional GDP vs. 6.5% in 2000. Ide­ally, pri­vate busi­ness should ac­count for about half of GDP the way it does in de­vel­oped Euro­pean coun­tries.

“This is real. We just need to cre­ate an environment con­ducive to busi­ness,” Chair­man of the Econ­omy Com­mit­tee of the Minsk Oblast Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee Alexan­der Turchin said. How­ever, he noted that not all the districts use their po­ten­tial in full. Volozhin and Krupki districts are cases in point: lo­cal en­trepreneurs ac­count for only 8-18% of the bud­get rev­enues there.

So far, the bulk of busi­ness­men are con­cen­trated in the sec­tors that do not re­quire highly qual­i­fied work­force and huge in­vest­ments. Over 40% of busi­ness­men are en­gaged in re­tail and whole­sale trade, while only 8% of SMES are in­volved in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, 7% in con­struc­tion, 2% in agri­cul­ture, 1% in hos­pi­tal­ity and pub­lic cater­ing.

In or­der to cre­ate new jobs and set up new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, Be­larus is op­ti­miz­ing the le­gal

The Slutsk Art­ware Fac­tory is one of the big­gest com­pa­nies in Be­larus. It makes a wide range

of weaved, em­broided, sewed

goods such as cov­er­lets, blan­kets,

bed linen and clothes. Pic­tured is the weav­ing shop

of the fac­tory

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