Press release

EY (Ernst & Young) announces the release of the sixth edition of Doing Business in Belarus

Minsk, 1 March 2017

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EY has prepared this report to give business executives an overview of the Belarusian tax system, company legal structures and approach to doing business, as well as financial accounting and reporting practices.

Pavel Laschenko, EY Country Managing Partner for Belarus, says: “Expanding into a foreign market is always a difficult decision that requires deep knowledge of the country’s business environment. It is important with respect to Belarus to understand that its business climate and regulations continue to develop across a number of areas. Business executives should be prepared to hear a great diversity of opinions about the situation in Belarus.” 

Traditionally, the issue of the Doing Business in Belarus report is supported by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Agency for Investment and Privatization and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The report is distributed at all significant international forums both in Belarus and abroad, which helps to promote a positive image of the country and attract foreign investment.

“This report introduces foreign businesses to Belarus’ trade and economic potential, its competitive advantages, unique opportunities and investor incentives, providing comprehensive answers to their questions,” says Vladimir Ulakhovich, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Natalya Nikandrova, Director of the National Agency for Investment and Privatization, believes that the Doing Business in Belarus report will always be in demand since comprehensive, credible and up-to-date information is a top priority for business. She adds: “We’ve been cooperating with EY for several years and will keep working together to achieve our common goal – to make the Belarusian economy competitive through adopting new knowledge and technology. We hope that this overview will mark the beginning of the successful business journey in Belarus. For our part, the National Agency for Investment and Privatization will provide all-round support to investors that have chosen Belarus, since the primary objective of the Agency is to ensure effective cooperation between foreign investors, Belarusian companies and state bodies.”

Roman Sobolev, Head of the Foreign Trade Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also expressed hope that the report will prove to be a useful manual to the investment community, help readers discover what changed in the country last year and give a reliable picture of the current situation in Belarus.

The data provided in the report is updated as of 1 January 2017. The report reflects significant changes in Belarusian laws related to financial, economic, tax and legal matters. Transfer pricing issues, economically justified expenses, incentives for FEZ residents, and migration issues concerning visa-free stay in Belarus – these are just some of the areas that have recently been affected by the new laws addressed in the report. 

Svetlana Gritsouk, Director, Head of Tax & Law in EY Belarus, says: “The information provided in the report focuses on key issues and helps potential investors to acquire an essential understanding of the Belarusian business environment and exciting opportunities for doing business in the country. We see that with each passing year Belarus is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investors as more and more foreign companies open their offices and start doing business here. That’s why the expression “forewarned is forearmed” perfectly describes the purpose of our report.”

Roman Sobolev notes that Belarus’ improved ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report testifies to the country’s significant competitive advantages: Belarus moved up 13 places to 37. He adds: “Belarus was named one of the top business reformers globally. In addition, our country ranked 30th in facilitating cross-border trade for the second year in a row, ahead of all its CIS and EEU partners, as well as EU member countries such as Germany, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. Analysis of key global economic development trends suggests that the four-year decline has bottomed out and our exports are set to gradually recover. Today, further growth of the economy significantly depends on coordinated efforts of government bodies, regional executive committees and corporations. At the same time, much depends on our proactiveness, innovation and ability to enter new markets.”

Vladimir Ulakhovich thinks that the keen interest taken in Belarus by the international business community is no coincidence. The key factors behind this interest include the country’s strategical geographic location, stable economic and social environment, highly developed transport infrastructure, highly-educated workforce and innovation potential, as well as the active role that the country plays in integration processes.

Pavel Laschenko also adds: “The key commitment of EY Belarus is to support a favorable business environment in the country by playing its part in boosting sustainable economic growth, fostering talent in all its forms, and promoting close cooperation with all stakeholders. We hope that Doing Business in Belarus will provide you with a general idea of the opportunities and prospects for business development in Belarus.”

The report is available in electronic format on our website: www.ey.com/by. For printed versions of the report in Russian and English please contact the EY office.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The firm has been active in the CIS since 1989. Currently, 4,500 professionals work at 20 offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Togliatti, Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Bishkek, Baku, Kyiv, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Yerevan and Minsk. EY opened its doors in Belarus in 1994 and is today the country’s largest international provider of professional business services. The firm’s clients include major companies and banks based in Belarus and around the world. Since 2010 EY has been a member of the Coordinating Council for the Harmonization of Belarus Law with IFRS, and since 2004 it has been the official advisor of the National Bank of Belarus for the introduction of IFRS in the country’s banking sector. The firm has acted as the coordinator of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council under the auspices of the Government of Belarus since 2001. EY Belarus has a staff of over 350 professionals.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.