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OECD assesses Belarus' SME policy frameworks

Economy 23.07.2019 | 17:31

MINSK, 23 July (BelTA) - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has carried out another round of Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) assessment in 2018-2019 in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, including in Belarus, BelTA learned from the M.S. Kunyavsky Business Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers.

The preliminary results of the OECD SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries were discussed at a meeting of experts in Paris. The Belarusian delegation included representatives of the Economy Ministry, the Entrepreneurship Promotion Council and the M.S. Kunyavsky Business Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. According to the OECD, Belarus has achieved the most impressive results in the indicator “SMEs in a green economy” becoming the absolute leader among the countries of the Eastern Partnership. The has scored 3.41 points against 2.10 in the previous edtion of the OECD SME Policy Index of 2016. Experts hailed the entry into force of the STB ISO 14001-2017 regulation “Environment management system” in July 2017 and measures to relax many environmental requirements for small businesses stipulated in Ordinance No. 7.

On the indicator “Bankruptcy and Second Chance for SMEs” Belarus has gained 3.31 points as against 2.57. The authors of the study estimated that since the last measurement the time and cost of bankruptcy have reduced in Belarus. The country has enabled a system of early warning of bankruptcy, the only one in the countries of the Eastern Partnership. At the same time the OECD drew attention to the fact that the measures used in Belarus to prevent bankruptcy and restructure debts mainly apply to state companies and are not always available for private business.

Belarus is among the leaders in Innovation Policy for SMEs. It has scored 3.21 points, second only to Georgia. The OECD believes that the innovation infrastructure in the country has expanded including thanks to the Hi-Tech Park and the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone. Innovative funds provide significant opportunities and the tax breaks largely correspond to the best practices in the EU.

According to the OECD, Belarus is lagging behind across such indicators as Support Services for SMEs and Start-Ups, Internationalization, and Operational Environment for SMEs.

All in all, the study includes more than 10 indicators, most of them assess Belarus close to the average for the region. It was a third round of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) assessment. The previous ones were carried out in 2012 and 2016, respectively. The official launch of the new OECD SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries is scheduled for the Eurasian Week in March 2020.

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