Departure from the seventh platform
Small enterprises in Belarus are known to need support, to ensure that they contribute fully to the economy. While neighbouring states brag of private entrepreneurs generating 50-90 percent of GDP, Belarus is set to reach just 27 percent by the end of this year. The question is how best to help private businesses — as discussed in Minsk, at the 15th Assembly of Business Circles.
By Alexander Benkovsky
The first assembly was held in 1992, and has since become a platform for business dialogue between the state and private entrepreneurs. Each year, a different theme is chosen: in 2013, they debated surviving the world crisis under conditions of a weakened national currency. The forthcoming entry of Belarus into the Eurasian Economic Union (expected from January, 1st, 2015) was the area under discussion this year.
The Chairman of the Minsk Capital Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Vladimir Karyagin, noted, “We cannot ignore the norms and rules of new economic associations, since they’ll bring sharper regional competition.” More than 200 representatives of state bodies took part in the assembly, including those from legislative, executive and judicial branches.
The Belarus-2014 National Platform for Business was held as part of the International 7th Assembly of Business Circles, which launched in 2006. It is a ‘road map’ for businesses worldwide, with about one million people taking part, aiming to improve the business environment and the development and co-operation of private businesses. The event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to offer feedback to the government and, in recent years, has inspired almost 300 new pieces of legislation, which have considerably simplified entrepreneurs’ working lives.
Mr. Karyagin asserts, “Last year, 107 suggestions were put forward, leading to 21 issues being somewhat tackled and over 30 solved; others have been ‘carried over’ to this year.”
Entrepreneurs have accepted the National Business Platform. Soon, the document will be finally developed, taking into account comments and suggestions. A large circulation is planned for the document which will be then presented to the public and will be sent to the country’s leadership.