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Regional entrepreneurship forum gathers some 300 participants in Brest

Economy 21.11.2019 | 18:37

BREST, 21 November (BelTA) – Around 300 participants turned up in Brest on 21 November to participate in the first regional entrepreneurship forum. The event has piqued the interest of representatives of the private sector and experts from all parts of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Matusevich said during the opening ceremony: “Small and medium businesses are the most interesting part of the private sector. This sector has maximum opportunities and great reserves for economic growth. Thanks to the ability of the small business to evolve in various directions, to fill market niches, and flexibly adapt to the changing world we can see that this segment can contribute even more to the growth of added value.”

The official pointed out that one third of working Belarusians are employed by small and medium businesses. SMEs account for half of Belarus' merchandise export and 40% of the export of services. “Services will be one of the drivers of economic growth in the next five-year term. Services represent the most adaptive environment for entrepreneurship development. Only private companies operate in some sectors, for instance, freight transportation. Private business accounts for an overwhelming share of trade industry and consumer services. The state can gradually hand over these functions to the private sector in the regions. When the private sector ensures social standards thanks to its activity, the state will no longer have to invest budget money in it,” the deputy economy minister said.

Dmitry Matusevich underlined the importance of enabling comfortable conditions for entrepreneurship development. The state pays serious attention to the matter. “We are going to take all kinds of measures to cut red tape in administrative procedures, simplify licensing, create a comfortable business environment, improve forms, tools, and methods for supporting small and medium businesses,” he said. Dmitry Matusevich added that the development of regional potential is in focus.

In particular, the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Economy Ministry is implementing a project to support economic development at the local level in the Republic of Belarus. The project is financed by the European Union. Twelve pilot districts in Belarus have been selected for implementing the project. “The project is local but it will build a bridge between economy, assimilation of innovations, and all the new things regarding doing business at the oblast level and the national one,” Berend de Groot, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Belarus, said. “We share the opinion of the Belarusian government, which says that economic development should affect not only major cities and their agglomerations. There should be no imbalance between urban areas and rural ones. All of us should work on finding optimal solutions.”

UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Alexandra Solovieva added that the UNDP and partners have been implementing projects to support entrepreneurship initiatives in the regions for over five years already. “It is important for the politics, conditions, and environment being created in Belarus to support the development of small and medium business. It is important to make it part of national strategies, programs, which are being developed and will be fulfilled in 2021-2025,” she stressed.

The first regional entrepreneurship forum is taking place during the Global European Week (GEW). The forum is expected to become traditional.

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