Belarus - Prime Minister of Belarus awarded winners and laureates of the national competition Best Entrepreneur 2008

Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky awarded winners and laureates of the national competition Best Entrepreneur 2008.

The small businesses occupy a prominent place in the Belarusian economy, Sergei Sidorsky said at the solemn ceremony. They contribute to sound competition and consumer goods production growth, create new jobs and help improve the well-being of people. The Premier informed that in 2008 the number of small businesses increased over 30% up to 68,000. The average headcount rose to 536,000 employees, up 25% from 2007. The small businesses accounted for 9.3% of the country's GDP, while their proceeds accounted for 20.7%. The capital investment in small businesses more than doubled, their profitability was about 17% which is higher than the national average.

The small and medium-sized business should account for up to 30% of the total sales proceeds by the end of 2010, Prime Minister said. This will be achieved through vigorous business activity, an increase in the number of enterprises, an influx of investment, broader access to loans and other significant factors of business growth, Sergei Sidorsky said. The small business employs about 23-25% of all workforce. "In this five-year period the Government will encourage greater contribution of entrepreneurship to the economic development of the country.

In the near future a series of regulations to further improve the terms of doing business will be adopted in Belarus, Prime Minister said.

Over ten types of business activities and 55 constituents of business activities (works and services) will no longer require licensing. The number of documents needed to get the license will be reduced. The activities where licensing will be abolished include woodworking, transport, forwarding and tourism. "The licensing in retailing and public catering will apply only to the retail trade in alcoholic beverages and tobacco," he said.

Apart from that, on 1 January 2010, the tax that is paid to the fund for the support of agricultural producers, the tax on retail sales and purchase of vehicles will be abolished. All this will help ease the burden on enterprises.

The frequency of tax administration will be simplified.

In return, the government expects entrepreneurs to enhance their community involvement and boost exports, Sergei Sidorsky underlined. He added that the government is interested in the regional development by means of small and medium-sized business.

A draft decree meant to stimulate the export of Belarusian commodities by private businessmen will be forwarded for consideration of the President of Belarus this week. The statement was made by Prime Minister.

"A document has been worked out to regulate earnings and operation conditions of entrepreneurs," reminded Sergei Sidorsky. "It is virtually ready and will be forwarded to the President soon, this week".

The Prime Minister underlined that the present state of the global economy, the falling demand both home and abroad pushes the need to find new mechanisms to promote Belarus-made products abroad to the forefront. Several normative legal documents have been prepared in Belarus to encourage export, sales of merchandise and services.

Sergei Sidorsky also pointed out the need to steer away from grey operation schemes. "Together with colleagues from the Russian Federation we have done a lot in this area. We have slowed down the grey import of commodities from eastern countries, primarily Turkey and China," said the Premier. He reminded that the Cherkizovsky market in Moscow had been shut down. "Today opportunities are open for those willing to enter new niches and open new business branches," believes Sergei Sidorsky. Apart from that, Belarus works with Ukraine and Kazakhstan a lot in this area.

The head of Government also said that this month a wholesale market for entrepreneurs should be opened in Belarus.

Taking part in the national competition Best Entrepreneur 2008 were 891 companies, of them 15 became the winners and 32 the laureates of the competition. The competition was held in 16 nominations.

The Belarusian-Italian joint venture Relouis Bel won the contest in the nomination for the Best Entrepreneur in Consumer Goods Production, the Belmyasprominvest private enterprise (Minsk) won in the nomination for the Best Entrepreneur in Food Production.

The R&D company Berlio was announced the best manufacturer of industrial goods. In construction, the best was SBA Stroirecycling (Brest oblast), In healthcare services, the main prize went to the foreign private enterprise Medindustriya Service of the Bishop Medical Supplies Limited (Minsk), in tourism to the private enterprise Sakvoyazh (Brest).

The private company Novita (Minsk) became the winner in the public catering nomination, while the prize in the distributive trades nomination went to the Innovation Company Optima Trade. Individual entrepreneur Igor Mironov received the governmental prize for providing best services, while individual entrepreneur Dmitry Olekhnovich was the winner in the nomination for providing best healthcare services.

The Konstantin agricultural company (village of Korzeyevo, Dribin region of the Mogilev oblast) was announced the best farming enterprise. Novopolotsk Centre of Entrepreneurship and Real Estate was recognized as the best subject of business infrastructure.

The Top Comfort joint venture (Grodno oblast) was named the best company with foreign investment. The Fidmash joint venture (Minsk) was recognized the best exporter. The EPAM Systems foreign private company from Minsk was the best company in terms of providing new jobs.

Belgazprombank and VTB Bank were named laureates in the nomination Best Bank Providing Services to Entrepreneurs.



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