The 20th Assembly of Business Circles of Belarus is taking place in Minsk today. Participants of the assembly are discussing matters of current interest and priority avenues of business development in the country. Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Tatiana Brantsevich talked to BelTA about work amid Western sanctions, about import substitution, and about the reduction of the administrative burden on the private sector.
Tatiana Brantsevich said: “The year 2022 presented very serious challenges before the country's economy. An anticrisis management system was established within a short period of time and allowed softening the impact of sanctions-based restrictions on the economy and the population.”
In her words, the work resulted in the development of a comprehensive plan on supporting the economy. “I'd like to thank business unions and associations, which representatives have taken the most active part in the development of the plan. Their experience allowed making an objective and practice-oriented plan,” the deputy economy minister pointed out.
Tatiana Brantsevich remarked that most of the measures and steps specified by this plan had been implemented already. “In particular, lending to exporters has been expanded, including small businesses. The purchase of critical imports has been simplified in addition to customs procedures. Solutions have been found to many logistic issues. Additional permits have been obtained for shipping freight across the territory of the CIS states, China, and Türkiye,” she said.
Apart from that, vigorous work continues to reduce the administrative burden on the private sector. “In 2022 we analyzed over 1,000 administrative procedures. More than 100 of them were scrapped. The time frame and the list of necessary documents were reduced with regard to 276 procedures. And we are still half-way there,” the official noted.
A national information resource for subcontracting and a digital platform for import substitution of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange have been operational since 2022. The former was created by the Belarusian Fund for Financial Support of Entrepreneurs. Both platforms allow customers to promptly find Belarusian suppliers of products and establish long-term manufacturing cooperation ties, Tatiana Brantsevich stated.
Belarusian businesses actively respond to needs of the manufacturing sector. 2022 saw 32 business matchmaking sessions for the sake of manufacturing cooperation. Over 500 small and medium private enterprises took part in them. About 200 contracts have been signed or are being signed as a result. The volume of mutual cooperation with Industry Ministry enterprises alone has exceeded Br150 million, the deputy economy minister stressed.
Import substitution efforts received a powerful impulse. “It is import substitution that represents a strategic task for our country nowadays. And we have great reserves. The private sector is encouraged to get integrated into manufacturing cooperation chains instead of the foreign vendors that have left the market,” she said.
Tatiana Brantsevich stressed that the measures that had been implemented would not be the last strategic solutions in the interests of economic development. “The government continues working in this area, however, in the current complicated conditions a lot will depend not purely on the legislative framework but on how effectively commercial entities themselves will operate,” she pointed out.
In conclusion, speaking about the Assembly of Business Circles, Tatiana Brantsevich remarked that year after year this traditional event allows summing up results of the work that has been done and sketching out goals of further development of Belarus' business community.