Minsk’s Mayoral Office is ready to support private initiative. “Entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurship are similar words. We want all regional administrations to re-think their relations with small, medium-sized and large businesses,” notes Alexander Kalinovsky, the Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee’s Economic Committee and Head of the Entrepreneurship Department. “Entrepreneurial spirit isn’t a tangible notion, but refers primarily to reforming the work of all services, to support private initiative.”
A serious programme is being launched to create business incubators in the capital’s districts, as well as establishing infrastructure to support young people keen to open their own business. A favourable environment for entrepreneurs is needed, allowing medium-sized businesses to create or expand their manufactures. Such firms producing export-oriented, import-substitution and innovation-oriented goods are to be most encouraged, receiving loans on beneficial terms.
Allocating land lots to construct buildings is another promising area, supporting private initiative. Mr. Kalinovsky notes that, in late 2010, a Consultative Council to Support Entrepreneurship was set up at Minsk’s City Executive Committee, comprising officials and representatives from Minsk’s business community.
“The task of an official is to remove obstacles hindering entrepreneurial spirit,” emphasises Vladimir Koltovich, the Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee. “We should not envy entrepreneurs; rather, we should assist them. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs should respect officials and follow the law.”
According to Mr. Koltovich, in 2010, there were 89,000 small businesses in the Belarusian capital, accounting for 25 percent of tax revenue.