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Belarus: Major Problems of the Regulatory Environment and Policy Proposals for its Improvement


High administrative and legal barriers retard the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belarus. Entrepreneurs denote such urgent problems as high taxes, complicated, contradictory and ever-changing legislation regulating entrepreneurial activity (ranging from high tax rates to price regulation), numerous inspections and unjustifiably heavy fines, laborious expensive and vague permission procedures, price controls, excessive paperwork, etc.

The publication suggests some directions towards the improvement of the regulatory environment related to the functioning of the SMEs. In order to develop the latter, active forms of support are crucial. These are the creation of market infrastructure, the provision of professional training and retraining as well as information and marketing support, etc. It could be expected that by making entrepreneurial activity less regulated and abolishing a number of bureaucratic rules the number of newly created SMEs could be increased, while the already  existing ones could developed. Overall, the policy measures proposed would facilitate the structural change in the economy, enhance competitiveness, promote labor market development and, finally, lead to growth of social and economic well-being of the Belarusian citizens.