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Business. View from our site.
Last modified: April 24, 2001

No claims for serious research nor for the final truth. This is just a private opinion.

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


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Last modified: April 23, 2001