At a glance
Main competitive advantages
A strategic location: at the crossroads between East and West, North and South, in the middle of Europe
A perfect place to do business with Russia: customs union between Belarus and Russia, a much lower cost of doing business (lower costs of salaries, land lease, hotels, etc.) and a better business climate
First-mover advantages for investors: competition is still scarce and there is room for growth and increased competitiveness across almost all sectors in Belarus
6 free economic zones, an interesting tax system and incentives for private businesses
A highly skilled and cheap workforce and a technological background
A well-developed transport and communications infrastructure
Unified rules for technical regulations and application of sanitary and veterinary codes for countries of Common Economic Space – CES (Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan)
Unified customs, tariff and non-tariff regulation of CES countries with third countries
Exemption of custom duties for imported technological equipment, raw materials and goods for investment projects (if there is no production of such items in CES)
Tariff preferences for imported goods, used as investments into authorised capital for JV or Foreign enterprises
Belarus has free trade bilateral agreements with 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine
- Belarus is located on interface (junction) of West European and East railway gauges
(narrow/broad gauge) - an advantage for development of border transport and logistical centres.
GDP: 155,148 billion BYR/ EUR 41 billion (2011) Population 9 million. Area: 207,600 km²
Market access: Free Trade agreements with Russia and Kazakhstan (Common Economic Space - CES: 170 million people, with total trade turnover avout 900 billion US dollars ) and with CIS countries (11 countries including Belarus, 275 million people).
Belarus launched a progressive liberalisation of its economy: over 300,000 private companies account for 30% of the national GDP, and the State aims at attracting private investment in a range of sectors. The main focus is on modernisation of the economy, especially for innovative industries.
Over 6,000 enterprises with foreign capital in 2011
Any state-owned enterprise could be privatised taking into account prospects of future development of the enterpirse and region or branch of economy and interests of employees
- The National Agency of Investment and Privatisation (NAIP) with the help of World Bank experts fulfils the pilot project to privatise 8 state-owned enterprises; list of state-owned enterprises for privatisation with NAIP as organiser
- Information on Privatisation and Enterprises' Shares availability is published in Russian and English at the State Committee on Property of the Republic of Belarus site - www.gki.gov.by
- Belarus aims to attract foreign businesses with advanced technologies
- Top investor countries: Russia, Europe (UK, Germany, Cyprus, Baltic states, Poland...), Ukraine and other CIS countries
Ease of doing business
Doing business 2012 rank for Belarus: 69/ 183. Change in Rank: ↑ 60 (since 2007)
Latest improvements in Property Registration, Investor protections, Taxes Payment
Belarus was the fourth best business reformer in 2009 and 2010.
Belarus investment climate is increasingly attractive. Investing Across Borders (IAB) assessment for Belarus:
Starting a Foreign Business: it takes 7 days and 6 procedures to establish a foreign-owned limited liability company (LLC) in Belarus, making it one of the fastest countries in the world;
Accessing Industrial Land: leasing public land is the most common option;
Arbitrating Commercial Disputes: Belarus is one of the countries that enforce foreign arbitration awards the fastest (6 weeks on average), however some cases are excluded.
Tax system and incentives
Belarus offers a competitive tax system: 20% VAT (main rate), 10% (reduced rate), 0% (for export), 18% corporate tax (income tax), 12% income tax.
Preferential legal regimes of investment are available:
Referent organisations and useful resources
, a public, non-governmental organisation supporting Belarusian and foreign businessmen which conduct their activities in Belarus and abroad
, the official website of the Republic of Belarus, with resources on business, tourism, latest news, etc.
Belarus EU Business Council
, a non-profit organisation established in Brussels aiming at building business partnerships between the EU and Belarus