Minsk, Belarus, January 29, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, helped the government of Belarus develop
a broad package of proposed business reforms that could strengthen the
economy by removing barriers to entrepreneurship.
The 52-measure reform plan, adopted by the government on January 13, includes
10 recommendations proposed by IFC Advisory Services’ Business Enabling
Environment program. The plan is expected to be fully implemented by the
end of this year. In Belarus, the IFC program is operated with financial
support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The measures recommended by IFC include streamlining administrative procedures
for starting a business and reducing the number of documents required to
obtain permits. Belarus, which has been hit hard by the global financial
crisis, has rapidly improved its business climate in recent years. Last
year, it ranked fourth among the Top 10 most active regulatory reformers
worldwide, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2009
Andrei Tur, Belarus’ Deputy Minister
of Economy said the reform plan reflects the recommendations of the World
Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. “We considered the proposals
and addressed all bottlenecks identified by the financial institutions
during the Doing Business 2009 survey,” he said. Last year, Belarus
sharply improved its global ranking on the overall ease of doing business,
moving up to 85 from 115. “This year, we will try to improve the Belarus
rating even more,” Tur said.
Belarus’ new reform plan also includes measures to improve tax and customs
legislation, property and land issues, price and antimonopoly regulations,
and administrative and technical procedures.
Belarus became a member of IFC in November 1992. At the invitation of the
government, IFC has been involved in advisory work in the country since
1993. To date, IFC has implemented a range of advisory projects and has
committed over $150 million in the local financial, agribusiness, and retail
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.