Study on improving the business climate presented in Belarus

On September 26, Robert Kirchner, Deputy Team Leader of the German Economic Team Belarus presented a new study on improving the business climate in Belarus at the event “10th Day of the German Economy” in Minsk. The event was attended by around 200 national and international participants, including high-ranking representatives of the Belarusian Government and a delegation of German business representatives led by Secretary of State Dr. Ulrich Nussbaum from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The study was developed in cooperation with the German-Belarussian Business Club, the Representation of German Business in Belarus and the Eastern Committee of German Business. It contains 35 reform proposals of companies in Belarus, with concrete solutions to problems arising from their day-to-day business, which were reviewed by the experts of the German Economic Team Belarus with regard to their practicality and feasability.

All suggestions in the study are practical and quick to implement. The top 10 list of reforms that promise comparatively quick successes include:

  • Acceleration of VAT refunds on deliveries of goods to Belarus: At present, refunds will be made after 60 days, even if the goods have been sold and re-taxed in Belarus. This unnecessarily burdens the liquidity of importers.
  • Recognition of invoices as a basis for calculation of the value of goods by Customs Authorities: At present, extensive documentations for each delivery still have to be submitted, which is a barrier for trade.
  • Building an electronic database for all court decisions: At present, it is often difficult for companies to assess how legal regulations are interpreted by the courts.
  • Simplifying the regulations and extending the maximum duration of work permits: At present, foreign employees need different permits, which are cumbersome to apply for and are usually limited to one year. Consolidating permits and extending permits would relieve companies and employees alike.

“Our study aims to help boost investment and growth in Belarus. A sustainable strengthening of the business climate can only be achieved by solving the multitude of practical problems for companies. Our study identifies 35 such problems and their solutions, “says Robert Kirchner, Deputy Team Leader of the German Economic Team Belarus.