This EU4Business report provides an in-depth analysis of the economic situation in Belarus, as well as presents the EU4Business projects currently being implemented in the country. It also focuses on current national policies and future measures planned in the national strategy for SMEs.
The level of SME development in Belarus is lower than other EaP and EU countries. According to the OECD SME Policy Index 2016, Belarus has made substantial improvements over the last four years, but still remains in 5th and 6th place in six out of 12 areas.
The general challenge that remains is the improvement of the Belarusian economy. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business reports and the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, the ease of doing business has been improving in Belarus. Nevertheless, FDI in Belarus has been falling since 2013, and the overall business image of Belarus remains unfavourable.
Belarus should seek more economic benefits from trade with the EU and the rest of the world. In this regard, Belarus has demonstrated a strategic interest in as well as a political will to join the World Trade Organisation.
The government has also taken steps towards SME development, with a state programme on SMEs, which sets a range of ambitious targets for 2020.