|Let's take a look at the Europe's map. It seems as
if just the geographical location and substantial industrial and scientific
potential and infrastructure (believe us, it is really substantial)
inherited from the former Soviet Union, if exploited wisely, could
have compensated for the scanty natural resources. Unfortunately that
is not the case. The business environment in Belarus may be characterized
just by one word. It is unfriendly, to say mildly, or hostile, what
is probably more appropriate.
Starting a business.
There are two options. To register as a private entrepreneur (so
called physical entity), or to register an enterprise (legal entity).
As you might guess the first option is largely limited to petty
commerce and small brokerage and is not suitable for serious business.
Nevertheless the number of people who make their living this way
might impress a casual visitor. Just take a look at numerous open
markets and street kiosks in Minsk (incidentally in other cities
too). Though the fever of entrepreneurial spring has calmed down
(one probably would not have spent hours and hours staying in lines
just to submit the documents for registration), it still takes days
if not weeks to prepare all the documents, to go through all the
offices to get registered.
To register an enterprise takes many folds more efforts, papers
to prepare, offices to go through, signatures and seals to be affixed,
money to pay, time to waist.
Running the business.
It is like a game with ever changing rules, where one side, the
state, is inventing new ways to squeeze more and more money out
of the businesses, and the other side, the businesses, is inventing
the ways to cheat the state and to hide whatever it can. The game
not to the businesses' liking. So, as always, the good players are
looking for their fortune elsewhere. Even Russia and Ukraine with
all their own problems are more attractive in this respect.
Any prospects for tomorrow? Unfortunately
no. The state (Saying the State we imply the President, saying the
President we imply the State. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?) shows
no signs of recovery. By all appearances from all the multiple choices
he prefers the North Korea's economical model. For political preferences
of our President you may check Our
view of Belarusian politics