MINSK, October 25, 2016 – Belarus placed among the top ten countries in implementing business-friendly reforms, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report 2017. Since the first publication of the report in 2004, Belarus has been implementing reforms across all Doing Business indicators. As a result, Belarus advanced to the 37th position in the global ranking of economies according to the Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, released today.
The latest report measures reforms implemented from June 2, 2015 to June 1, 2016. During this period, Belarus adopted 4 notable reforms making it easier to operate a business. It streamlined the process of obtaining an electricity connection by establishing a one-stop shop at the utility which provides all connection-related services, including the design and construction of the distribution line. The transparency and reliability of the land administration system was improved making it easier to transfer property. Today, it takes only three days and two procedures for companies to register a property, placing Belarus in the 5th position globally on the Registering Property indicator.
In addition, credit reporting system has been established with the credit bureau now providing credit scores. Belarus also strengthened minority investor protection by introducing remedies in cases where related-party transactions are harmful to the company and by requiring greater corporate transparency.
“The Government’s sustained effort to improve the regulatory environment for businesses has clearly made a positive impact on the county’s Doing Business ranking during the past decade. The challenge today is to use this strong track record of reforms to attract foreign direct investment,” said Young Chul Kim, World Bank Country Manager. “In order to do this, the Government should complement the Doing Business reforms with timely adoption of policies to remove structural constraints to growth.”
This year’s report includes, for the first time, a gender dimension in three indicators: Starting a Business, Registering Property and Enforcing Contracts. The report finds that in Belarus there are no barriers against men or women on any of these indicators. For example, a women can start a business in the same way as men.
The report also includes an expansion of the Paying Taxes indicators, which now cover post-filing processes, such as tax audits and VAT refunds. Belarus needs to improve post-filing transactions, for example, by making it easier for companies to obtain a VAT refund.
The full report and accompanying datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org