8 ECONOMY The Minsk Times Thursday, November 4, 2010 Business climate becomes warmer According to the World Bank, Belarus is among the leading states reforming their business conditions. Last year alone, 56 legal acts were adopted in the country — all simplifying and stimulating entrepreneurial activity. The Government continues its work to make the country attractive for investors — both domestic and foreign. This September, some new progressive documents were adopted, referring to licensing and taxation. Moreover, the Parliament studied the 2011 budget for the first time this September. This early date chosen for the major financial document was selected at businessmen’s request. Entrepreneurs will have enough time to prepare for new economic conditions as a result By Vitaly Volyanyuk to license issuance and annulment these as an obstacle to business activ- — fully meet entrepreneurs’ wishes, ity, so their abolishment should drive Free trade, among other as recorded during the document’s forward enterprises. novelties development. The Finance Ministry and the Experts unanimously agree that There is evident progress in the Ministry for Taxes and Duties aim to the Presidential Decree ‘On Licens- field of licensing. Back in 2003, spe- apply progressive and globally proven ing of Certain Activities’ is a timely cial permission was needed for 150 mechanisms of tax collection. Already, legal act — one the business commu- activities. From January 1st, 2011, most Belarusian enterprises pay only nity has long awaited. Moreover, the only 37 will remain. The Deputy five taxes: VAT, profit tax, real estate, ALEXANDER RUZHECHKA reality coincides with expectations: Economy Minister, Andrei Tur, has land and ecological tax. These results from January 1st, 2011, no special promised at a Minsk press confer- should be noted in future World Bank permission will be needed for re- ence that the Presidential Decree ‘is Doing Business reports. Those from tail trade or public catering. These not a final document and work in the the Ministry for Taxes and Duties account for 40-50 percent of all li- field of licensing shall be continued’. are convinced that Belarus will move censes issued at present. The admin- from 183rd place in the ratings to at istrative barrier has now been abol- Taxes strive for least 80th, as regards the simplicity of Investment co-operation is also possible in the banking sphere ished. In addition, tourist businesses simplicity its tax paying system. and another 14 business activities In September, the National Assem- The tax burden on businesses is Comfortable graph Mr. Kalinin. He recollects that the have been exempted from licensing. bly’s House of Representatives adopted also being steadily cut. Since 2006, The proverb says: ‘repair your cart Belarusian rouble’s devaluation in Special permissions are only needed changes and alterations to the Tax it has fallen by 4.7 percent of GDP. in December; in July your sledge re- early 2009 and new rent regulations for spheres which require enhanced Code. Speaking about the law to depu- Interestingly, the budget has hardly member’. The business community (adopted in late 2009) ‘were unpleas- responsibility and control — such as ties, Finance Minister Andrei Kharko- suffered. “I think an axiom of market has been calling on the Government ant surprises for businesses’. “It’s bad the production and sale of alcohol, vets stressed that it ‘radically simplifies economics has been confirmed by to act similarly. All legislative acts when a company learns about such gambling, medical and educational the taxation system’. The document our country: reducing the tax burden regulating economic activity should things at the last minute. It creates a services, advocatory and banking envisages the abolishment of local tax- releases circulating funds from com- be adopted several months before the force-majeure situation and breaks a activities and work with radioactive es on services and site development, panies and entrepreneurs,” explains new year (when they come into force), company’s usual routine. Naturally, materials. Meanwhile, the period of in addition to three payments within the Minister for Taxes and Duties, allowing companies’ accounting, legal we welcome early announcements license issuing has been cut to 15 the ecological tax. According to Mr. Vladimir Poluyan. “In turn, the lib- and financial departments to prepare by state bodies, which tell us about all days (from 30), and the term of va- Kharkovets, the reform should simpli- eration of business activity leads to calmly for the new conditions. Busi- vital decisions beforehand, informing lidity has been extended to 10 years fy tax administration while reducing the expansion of the tax-subject base nessmen’s requests have been ‘heard’ business circles about measures in a (previously five). the burden on companies. Next year, and growth of budget revenue.” To by the President, who has ordered the timely manner.” Mr. Kalinin adds that The Chairman of the Belarusian the latter should save around Br700bn confirm his words, the official notes Government to adopt a package of Belarus is now enjoying more open Entrepreneurs’ Union, Alexander (about $230m) in tax payments. that, despite fewer taxes being paid major economic projects by October rule-making, unlike the non-trans- Kalinin, asserts that this new order Since 2006, Belarus has been stead- into the budget this year than in 2009, at the latest; this time scenario should parent law adoption of the past. The for licensing should inspire the de- ily simplifying its tax system. The state budget revenue targets have been met become the annual norm. Government is now actively liaising velopment of business and invest- has annulled small, inefficient taxes (in the first half of 2010, 101.9 percent “Of course, it’s good that we’ve with business associations, experts ment activity in the country. He and fees stage-by-stage; 26 have been of planned funds were collected). learnt about next year’s budget, and international institutions when notes that entrepreneurs’ views have abolished in recent years, including This was possible due to growing pay- planned taxes and rates in Septem- preparing important documents. been taken into account while some ‘turnover’ taxes, which are paid from ments from other major taxes (profit ber. We can now plan our work This teamwork enhances the quality suggestions — such as those relating revenue. International experts criticise tax and VAT). thoroughly and without hurry,” says of decisions. New plans bring additional benefits ALEXANDER RUZHECHKA Minsk’s Belkommunmash and a dozen companies produce these Polish PESA Bydgoszcz SA to trains worldwide, while those made jointly master rail transport by PESA Bydgoszcz SA boast an market optimal price-quality ratio. Property market in Belarus based on volume of housing construction, which influences pricing The companies have agreed to “This agreement opens a new launch assembly of rail transport page in Belkommunmash’s history; Good time to buy property By Inga Vakulova According to data provided by cast that property prices are un- (for Belarusian and foreign mar- kets), using the production facilities of Belarusian Railways. This joint production differs significantly in a short period of time, it has be- come a world leader in producing urban electric transport and has plans to diversify into rail trans- realt.by website, the average price likely to change any time soon. from currently manufactured elec- port, joining a holding to produce According to Interfax-Zapad in Minsk stands at $1,321 per Nikolay Prostolupov, the tric trains — in its technical level electric land transport — and man- News Agency, a flat in Minsk square metre. The difference be- Chairman of the Belarusian Real and comfort; it is unique within the aged overall by Belkommunmash,” can now be bought for almost tween asking prices and sale prices Estate Association, notes that, at post-Soviet space. No more than notes the Minsk company’s General the same price as in early 2007 is just $100 per square metre. This present, many contracts have been Director, Vladimir Korol. The National Cadastre Agency difference may not seem huge but signed by buyers seeking flats in The Director for Marketing informs us that the price of one it totals around $5,000 if referring high-rise buildings, which are on Foreign Markets, a member of square metre in August 2010 stood to a two-roomed 50sq.m flat. currently being constructed but PESA Bydgoszcz SA’s Board of Di- at $1,203 while, in September, it The property market has lost only have 2-3 floors built so far. rectors, Zigfrid Zhuravski, stresses had reached $1,238 (incomplete much of its dynamism. From Janu- Such new housing is around 10 that the co-operation of such large ALEXANDER RUZHECHKA data). In 2008, a square metre ary-September 2009, 7,400 flats percent cheaper per square metre and authoritative partners guaran- cost $1,731 on average and almost were sold and bought, compared than older properties. However, tees advantages for both sides on reached $2,000 in autumn 2007, to just 5,100 flats over the same new housing tends to match that the rail transport market. The joint so the price drop is a relief to new period of 2010. High mortgage of older property in price overall. product is to be reasonably priced, buyers. The price of a square metre interest rates are evident, prevent- Another advantage of new homes while boasting high quality. Moreo- recently stabilised and now fluctu- ing some from being able to afford is that the quality of materials used ver, it’ll be tailored to suit specific ates at around $1,200 to $1,250. them. Accordingly, experts fore- tends to be much higher. New tram looks smart customers.
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